CTA worker accused of beating, tossing man down stairs of subway station who later died

Emmett Richardson, 39, is facing felony charges of aggravated battery in Saturday’s attack. The 54-year-old male victim has not been identified.

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People exit a Blue Line train at the CTA’s Clark/Lake station in the Loop.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

A CTA worker is accused of brutally beating a man and tossing him down the stairs of a downtown subway station, where he was found by police and later pronounced dead.

Emmett Richardson, 39, faces felony counts of aggravated battery in connection to the attack early Saturday at the La Salle Street Blue Line station at 150 W. Congress Parkway, Chicago police said.

Emmett Richardson arrest photo

Emmett Richardson

Chicago police

The victim, a 54-year-old man who has not formally been identified, was found unconscious about 4 a.m. on a stairwell landing at the station, police said. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead.

Results of an autopsy conducted Sunday were still pending, according to Brittany Hill, a spokeswoman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

While the ultimate determination could warrant additional charges, an arrest report has already placed blame on Richardson.

“[He] was captured on CTA video using his hands and feet to batter victim ultimately causing victims [sic] death,” according to the court records. Charging documents show that in addition to punching and kicking the man in the face, head and body, Richardson also threw him over a railing and down stairs.

Richardson initially tried to drag the man out of the station, but apparently lost his grip and fell against the station’s turnstiles, a source said. Richardson then beat the man and tossed him down flights of stairs.

After dragging him up and down the stairs, Richardson left the man inside the station where he was found by police, the source said. Officers didn’t realize the man had been attacked until they reviewed surveillance footage.

Richardson was hired by the CTA in August 2020 and had been working as a customer service assistant, a CTA spokesperson said.

CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. said Richardson “has been removed from service without pay pending further investigation and disciplinary action,” calling the allegations “absolutely reprehensible.”

“I am appalled by this person’s behavior, which not only is completely contrary to CTA policies but also showed a stunning lack of humanity,” Carter said in a statement. “His actions are an insult to the thousands of hardworking and dedicated men and women who serve CTA customers every day.”

Richardson was taken into custody Saturday afternoon in the Douglas neighborhood, where police said he lives. Richardson, who also appears in court records with his first named spelled Emmet, has previously faced charges of criminal trespass to land and unlawful damage of a vehicle, but both cases were dropped.

He’s expected in bond court Tuesday, police said.

A year ago, another CTA employee was charged with repeatedly shooting an intoxicated man after being knocked down during an argument at the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line stop.

Sylvester Adams, 54, has been indicted on felony charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in the March 26, 2022, shooting, which was captured on cellphone video that spread on social media. Adams has pleaded not guilty and remains held at the Cook County Jail, records show.

The victim, Jermey Begay, sued Adams and the CTA in Cook County court Monday, saying he was left with “permanent scars over his body” as a result of the shooting and subsequent surgeries. That includes “a large wide zipper scar that runs from his chest to below his belly button.”

The lawsuit alleges assault, battery, inadequate security and negligent hiring, retention and training. Adams is seeking at least $50,000 in damages, according to the complaint.

The CTA spokesperson declined to comment on the pending litigation. The first court date was set for June 1.

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