COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A Rogers Park man with a history of causing trouble on the CTA stabbed a man at a North Side Red Line station, nearly missing his heart, prosecutors said in court Wednesday.
Martez Byrd, 33, was seen "dancing, and singing and drinking alcohol" on a Red Line train before the attack, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said.
He is now charged with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a 35-year-old man who was en route to work and at the North/Clybourn Red Line station in Old Town at about 8:10 p.m., Monday, authorities said.
While on board the train, Byrd and the victim got into a verbal argument.
Scaduto said the victim "tried to ignore" Byrd. But when the man got off the train, Byrd threw a beer bottle at him.
When the victim told Byrd to "take it easy," he allegedly said "I'm going to f------ stab you" and followed the man to the escalator.
Afraid he might get stabbed in the back, the man turned on the escalator to face Byrd, who made good on his warning and stabbed him "inches from the victim's heart," Scaduto said. Cops said he also stabbed the man in the upper leg.
Byrd fled from the scene and encountered a CTA security gaurd, Scaduto said, but was able to avoid immediate capture. At some point while he was fleeing, Byrd encountered the victim a second time in the Red Line station as he was "covered in blood" and waiting for an ambulance, Scaduto said.
Byrd attacked the victim again, this time punching him, Scaduto said.
The victim was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital and was in "stable" condition, police said Monday. Byrd was arrested after the attack and police allegedly found nine small bags of suspected pot and "a block" of possibly cocaine in his possession.
It's not the first time Byrd has made trouble for authorities on the CTA, Scaduto said. According to prosecutors and court records, Byrd has been charged with drinking alcohol on the CTA, selling pot on the CTA and urinating on the CTA. He also has a pending unlawful use of weapons case.
According to an attorney representing Byrd in court on Wednesday, he is a military veteran who served six years in the U.S. Army.
A Cook County judge ordered Byrd held in lieu of $500,000 bail on Wednesday.