LITTLE VILLAGE — After springing to the aid of a pregnant woman who was brutally attacked on a CTA bus Monday, Christina Robles-Favela stayed with the victim through her hospitalization, discharge and a visit to the police station.
The couple and the young woman — strangers as of Monday morning — have now formed a "little extended family," Robles-Favela said Wednesday.
She and her husband, David, will hold Brenda Torres' baby shower, and the couple have even agreed to be the child's godparents.
Torres, 18, was riding the Western Avenue bus to work Monday morning when a man who was making a disturbance on the bus began beating her, police and witnesses said. Torres, nearly eight months pregnant, attempted to shield herself as the man — later identified as Steven Bailey, 21 — punched her in the face and head, she said.
A bus driver pulled Bailey off of her, and a police officer later subdued him with a stun gun, police said. Bailey has been charged with three felonies and is being held without bail, according to court records.
Robles-Favela, 33, who works at an assisted living facility in Beverly, was on the bus and witnessed the attack. She immediately after went to Torres' aid, she said. In an effort to calm the woman's nerves, Robles-Favela tried to make small talk, asking Torres about herself and her unborn baby.
"It was just the two of us left on the bus," Robles-Favela said. "It was quiet. I had to break the ice."
Eventually, she learned that Torres had no plans for a baby shower, and didn't really have any baby supplies or even a registry. And though the two went through quite a bit Monday — an ambulance ride, hospitalization and hours at a police station — that fact stuck with Robles-Favela.
Her husband, David Favela, met his wife and Torres at the hospital, bringing them food and helping to call Torres' relatives.
"We were there for hours," Robles-Favela said of the police station visit. "We talked about what she needs [for the baby], which is basically everything. We asked her if she wanted to have a baby shower and she said yes.'"
Torres is due in late October. After a scare in the hospital, doctors were able to detect the baby's heartbeat, and soon after she felt the baby kick, she said.
"I'm so thankful," Torres said of the baby's prognosis.
The husband and wife even offered a place for the woman and her baby to stay in their new Little Village home. Torres, who lives with her boyfriend and is now out of the hospital, is still considering the offer.
"She's so young. [The attack] can definitely make or break a person," Robles-Favela said. "There's more than enough room here. We talked and said, 'Let's do it."
Favela, 32, said the incident came at the right time, just as they bought a new house with plenty of room.
"We're not even completely moved in yet," he said. "We're in the position to help and so we're going to."
A room has been set aside for Torres. Robles-Favela said the outpouring from friends and strangers has been overwhelming, so much so that they couldn't keep enough items on Torres' registry to keep up with demand.
"Extreme couponers" have even offered to drop off some of their coupons, and another person donated a large amount of laundry detergent, Robles-Favela said.
The baby shower will be the childless couple's first go at such an event. Robles-Favela's brother is a chef and a sign painter, and has agreed to help cook and decorate.
Torres is still suffering from the shock and injuries sustained in the attack, but she said she is blown away by the help and support the couple has provided.
"I think that's so kind of her," Torres said. "I'm so thankful she was there."
Robles-Favela and her husband have been called everything from good Samaritans to heroes since the incident. Both have tried to shrug the praise off — saying there was a reason they were put in this position to help and that they intend to take full advantage of it.
"I feel I was there for a reason," Robles-Favela said. "I told her, 'I will be in your life for as long as you want.'"
"I told [Torres], 'People are nice. What you witnessed is a bad lot in society,'" she said. "For one bad person, there's 10 good ones."
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