At 10:15 a.m., Jessica Hughes was riding the Blue Line home with a crowd of other DePaul students, but they cleared out after a few stops and Hughes was on the train with a man and woman and three or four other people, said her dad, Richard Amador.
Near the Kedzie stop, the man with the woman stood up and told Hughes, "Give me the iPhone," Amador said.
The man jumped on Hughes before she could respond, "pummeling her, beating her down," Amador said. The man and woman beat Hughes' face and he bit her hand. The woman punched Hughes' nose, breaking it.
“He jumps up from his chair, and goes on top of me, and asks me for my phone, but my phone was in my pocket, and I had my headphones on, so he was yanking at my headphones, and then he pushed me to the floor, and then started beating on my head,” Hughes told WBBM-AM. “He bit me on my left hand.”
The other people on the train just watched, Amador said.
"She was screaming for help, and nobody on the train would help her," Amador said.
“They just watched,” Hughes told WBBM-AM. “I feel like people just don’t want to get involved.”
The couple ran away after the attack — without Hughes' iPhone — and the witnesses on the train got out of the car, Amador said. They didn't call police or try to get his daughter help, Amador said.
"They pretty much left her there," Amador said. "The conductor was the one who called police, got her help."
Hughes was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, said Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.
Hughes is now back at home recuperating, but she was shaken up by the attack, her father said.
"She's emotionally traumatized," Amador said.
Hughes' family said they haven't been able to find the witnesses since they left after the attack and didn't call police. They're hoping there will be video that can help investigators. The Chicago Transit Authority is cooperating with police, said spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski.
Amador said he's troubled by the witnesses' actions.
“I would say, if it was their daughter, and I was on that train, I would jump in regardless because she is another human being. And when somebody is crying out for help and you do nothing, you’re just as guilty,” Amador said. “And it’s a shameful, shameful thing that they did. ... I mean, why wouldn’t you help an innocent girl being beat down by giant people?”
The attackers are described as a 25- to 35-year-old black man who was 6 feet tall and weighed 180 pounds, Estrada said. He had brown eyes, black hair and a medium complexion. The woman was black, 5-foot-6 and weighed 130 pounds, Estrada said.
No one was in custody.
DePaul declined to comment.
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