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1 of suspects charged in using BB gun in Green Line robbery attempt denied bail

A Chicago resident has started an online petition asking Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority to install calming blue lights at all train stations as a way to prevent train suicides.

Sun-Times file photo

A man was denied bail Tuesday after prosecutors told a judge he was on parole when he and an accomplice allegedly tried to rob a woman with a BB gun on a Green Line train.

Kahari Williams, 22, and 20-year-old Rakara Reed each face a charge of aggravated attempted robbery in the incident on Sunday night, Cook County prosecutors said at a bail hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Cook County court records show Williams was convicted of robbery in 2016 under the name Kahari Dixon and was sentenced to four years in prison. He was paroled in May last year from Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections. His sentence was scheduled to be discharged this October.

Williams had also been convicted of robbery in 2014 under the name Kahari Dixon and was given probation, court records show.

Judge Sophia Atcherson cited Williams’ status as a parolee in her decision to hold him without bail, saying she found him a danger to the community.

Reed, who is accused of participating the attempted robbery, was ordered held on $20,000 bail and would be required to submit to electronic home monitoring if she posts bond.

Reed’s public defender said she was homeless, lived at a shelter and could not afford to post any amount of bond.

About 10:45 p.m. Sunday, Williams and Reed allegedly tried to grab a 41-year-old woman’s purse while she was reading a book on a Green Line train as it pulled into the Laramie station on the West Side, prosecutors said.

When the woman tightened her grip on the purse, she was pulled to the floor of the CTA train, prosecutors said. Williams and Reed left the train and went out onto the platform, but before the train pulled away, Williams allegedly boarded the train again and pointed a black handgun at the woman’s head.

The woman still refused to hand over her purse and both Williams and Reed walked away but were taken into custody “within minutes,” prosecutors said. Williams wore a black and red ski mask during the robbery, which was found on him when he was taken into custody, prosecutors said.

Police found a black BB gun in an area of the station where Williams and Reed were seen standing after getting off the train, prosecutors said. Both were identified by witnesses on the train, and the BB gun found by officers was identified as the weapon used in the attempted robbery, prosecutors said.

Williams and Reed were next scheduled to appear in court Monday in Skokie.

Rakara Reed | Chicago police arrest photo

Kahari Williams | Chicago police arrest photo