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3 attacked by dozens of teens on Red Line platform on Near North Side

Chicago police officers responded to the Chicago and State Red Line station about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 to reports of about 50 teenagers beating three people on the CTA platform. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

Chicago police officers responded to the Chicago and State Red Line station about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 to reports of about 50 teenagers beating three people on the CTA platform. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

A group of about 50 teenagers attacked three people Saturday evening on a Red Line platform on the Near North Side.

About 7:30 p.m., the victims were waiting for a train at the Chicago station, 800 N. State St., when the teens stepped onto the platform, according to Chicago police. One of the people in the group then asked a 26-year-old man if he was recording them, which he denied.

The horde of teens then approached the man, a 29-year-old woman and her 28-year-old boyfriend and started punching them, according to police and the victims, who asked not to be named.

All three were treated at the scene for bruising and lacerations, according to Chicago Fire Media Affairs.

The 28-year-old, who has lived in Chicago for three years, said he later went to University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, where he learned that his eye socket was fractured.

Yue Lei, 28, Chicago, was beaten by a group of teenagers about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 while waiting for a train at the Chicago and State Red Line station. His glasses were broken and his hand, lip and eye were injured. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

A 28-year-old man was beaten by a group of teenagers about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 while waiting for a train at the Chicago and State Red Line station. His glasses were broken and his hand, lip and eye were injured. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

The woman who was struck had traveled to Chicago to visit him from San Jose, California. Disillusioned by the violence, he now plans to move to a “safer area” and avoid public transportation.

“Because they hit random people for no reason and I live very close to the station, I am worried to live here anymore,” he said.

Police also received reports that a large group of teens had been kicked out of Water Tower Place and a nearby McDonald’s on Saturday night.

At 7:47 p.m., Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) announced in a tweet that Water Tower was closing early due to “mob action by large crowds of juveniles.”

On Sunday, Area Central detectives were retrieving surveillance footage of the incident from the CTA that will be released to the public.

Downtown CTA stops will have an increased police presence in the lead-up to the New Year’s Eve festivities, and officers will be “highly visible” at the Chicago station in the wake of Saturday’s brazen attack, police said.