Downtown, South Loop & River North

Crime & Mayhem

Group Trashes 7-Eleven, Brutally Beats CTA Rider with Hammer: Charges

February 12, 2016 3:05pm | Updated February 15, 2016 8:47am
Police arrested these four adults and two juveniles in connection with a series of Downtown robberies this month. Allen McDowell, top left, was also charged with sexual assault. Clockwise from top right: Deashley Woodard, Emmanuel Hunter, and Na Eem Hoskins.
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Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A group of people trashed a Downtown 7-Eleven before brutally attacking a CTA passenger with a hammer, prosecutors said Friday.

The CTA victim, who'd been riding the Blue Line to work, suffered a broken orbital bone and may have permanent vision loss, Cook County prosecutors said during a bond hearing Friday.

Police arrested six suspects early Wednesday, including a man who's wanted for allegedly raping and robbing a man with cerebral palsy in Grant Park on Feb. 2.

The recent crime spree started about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday when roughly 10 people walked into a 7-Eleven at 801 S. State St., prosecutors said.

Na Eem Hoskins, 24, began dancing to distract the 25-year-old store clerk, prosecutors alleged. Meanwhile, Hoskins' accomplices stuffed food and other items into their pockets and bags.

When the clerk tried to stop the group, 19-year-old Deashley Woodard began hitting the man in his head and face, according to prosecutors. Woodard then threw trash around the store before she and her accomplices ran away.

The entire incident was captured on 7-Eleven surveillance footage, court records show.

A few hours later, the group, which consisted of about 10 people, boarded a CTA Blue Line train, according to prosecutors. There was only one other passenger on the train, a man on his way to work.

The man was concerned by the group's "loud, rude behavior," prosecutors said, and tried moving to a different train car as the "L" passed through the 800 block of North Milwaukee Avenue.

That's when the group attacked the man — hitting and kicking him as they followed him to another car, authorities said. The group stomped on the victim and allegedly beat him with sticks they had brought on the train.

Woodard, meanwhile, pulled a hammer out of her purse and began to beat the man in his back, arms and legs, according to prosecutors. The victim eventually blacked out.

In court Friday, prosecutors told Judge Peggy Chiampas the man could suffer permanent vision loss as a result of the attack, which broke his orbital bone.

The entire attack was captured on CTA surveillance footage.

Police were able to arrest six members of the group, including two juveniles, about 2 a.m. Wednesday in the 500 block of South State Street, court records show.

Police had released a description of the group after the 7-Eleven robbery, an arrest report said, and CTA security notified beat officers when the suspects got off a Downtown train.

One of the alleged attackers, 23-year-old Allen McDowell, was carrying another man's Ventra card at the time, prosecutors said.

The Ventra card's owner had reported a robbery and rape about a week earlier on Feb. 2 in the 300 block of South Columbus Drive, prosecutors said. McDowell has been charged with the rape.

Prosecutors allege McDowell met the victim Downtown, where they shared a cigar and alcohol in an alley.

The pair then headed to Grant Park, where McDowell threatened the victim with a heavy object and told the man he'd killed people before, according to prosecutors. McDowell allegedly raped the man and forced him to perform oral sex — before stealing the victim's wallet, cellphone and Ventra card.

The victim reported the crime to police, and a rape kit was collected at a nearby hospital, prosecutors said.

McDowell, of the 4000 block of North Sheridan Road in Buena Park, is charged with armed robbery, robbery, aggravated battery to a transit employee/rider, aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated armed robbery.

Hoskins, of the 1000 block of West Lawrence Avenue in Uptown, is charged with robbery, armed robbery and aggravated battery to a transit employee/rider.

Woodard, of north suburban Zion, is charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery to a merchant and aggravated battery to a transit employee/rider.

Emmanuel Hunter, 19, of the 100 block of West Elm Street on the Near North Side, is charged with robbery, armed robbery and aggravated battery to a transit employee/rider.

Judge Chiampas on Friday ordered McDowell held in lieu of $2 million bail. The judge set bail for Hoskins, Woodard and Hunter at $1 million each.

Two juveniles were also charged in the crime spree, according to police. Police do not publicly name juveniles charged in crimes.

A 17-year-old girl is charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery causing bodily harm and retail theft, police said.

A 16-year-old girl is charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, retail theft, battery causing bodily harm and criminal damage to property, police said.

Additional information on the girls' cases was not immediately available.

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