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Upset Over Bus Fare, Teen Pepper-Sprays CTA Driver, Prosecutors Say

By Emily Morris | November 24, 2013 7:10pm | Updated on November 25, 2013 9:03am
  Brianna Emery, 17, of the 7900 block of South Colfax Avenue.
Brianna Emery, 17, of the 7900 block of South Colfax Avenue.
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Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Upset  about the cost of CTA bus fare, a 17-year-old girl got into an argument with the bus driver and pepper-sprayed him in the face as she left the bus, prosecutors alleged Sunday.

Brianna Emery, of the 7900 block of South Colfax Avenue, was charged with felony aggravated battery to a transit employee following the 11:55 a.m. Friday dust-up, authorities said.

The teen boarded the CTA bus in the 2600 block of East 79th Street just before noon on Friday and argued with the driver about the fare, Assistant State's Attorney Jacqueline Kwilos said.

Authorities didn't reveal exactly how much they fought over. A regular bus fare is $2. A student fare is 75 cents.

Emery paid the fare, sat down and rode the bus for about five blocks, Kwilos said.

But before getting off, she blasted the 50-year-old driver in the face with pepper spray, Kwilos said. A police report said she used Back Off Dog Repellent, and the canister was recovered after her arrest.

She ran north on Colfax Avenue from 79th Street, according to a police report. The driver, meanwhile, was taken to South Shore Hospital.

Police got a description of the teen and found her in the 7900 block of South Kingston Avenue, according to the report. They took Emery to South Shore Hospital, where the bus driver identified her as the one who sprayed him, police said.

Judge James Brown ordered Emery held on $90,000 bail.