Cook County Jail

Suspect in CTA Attack Arrested Again, 8 Days After He Was Released by Mistake

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The suspect in an attack at a CTA Red Line stop was taken back into custody eight days after he was released by mistake, authorities say. NBC 5 Investigates’ Phil Rogers reports.

The suspect in an attack at a CTA Red Line stop was taken back into custody eight days after he was released by mistake, authorities say.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office said 33-year-old Kenneth Ray was arrested on Oct. 9 for the second time in connection with the same incident: an Aug. 15 assault on a man that the FBI classified as a potential hate crime.

In an alert about the incident that was released prior to Ray's arrest, the FBI said the suspect followed a man into the CTA's Argyle station and hit him from behind, causing him to fall. The victim told police that when he asked the reason for the attack, the suspect used an ethnic slur and said he deserved it.

Ray was arrested on Sept. 29 inside the Cook County Jail, where he was already in custody on prior charges including criminal trespassing and retail theft, Chicago police said. Ray was charged with two counts of felony aggravated battery and scheduled to appear at a bond hearing on those charges on Oct. 1.

But while appearing via video conference in court for one of his prior cases the morning of Oct. 1, a judge sentenced Ray to time served. Jail officials said they had nothing further to hold him on and he was released, despite the two new felony charges from the alleged attack, because those charges were apparently never put into the system.

Chicago police were scrambling Wednesday to find an aggravated battery suspect who was already in custody, but released because his charging information apparently was never entered into the system. NBC 5 Investigates’ Phil Rogers reports.

When asked about Ray's release earlier this month, a spokesman for Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said their office approved the charges against him. Chicago police noted that when they arrested him, he was already in custody.

The charging documents were officially entered into the clerk's system on Oct. 6, five days after he was slated to appear in court. Also filed that day was a warrant for Ray's arrest.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office said Monday that Ray was taken into custody again on that warrant on Oct. 9 in the 1200 block of West Ainslie Avenue in Chicago. Working with Chicago police and the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Taskforce to find Ray, the sheriff's office said investigators were led to a residential building in the 4900 block of North Winthrop, where it was believed he was staying.

Investigators saw Ray leaving the building and followed him to a branch of the Chicago Public Library where he was arrested, according to the sheriff's office.

The following day, his bond was set at $250,000, officials said. He remains in custody at Cook County Jail in lieu of bond, with his next court date scheduled for Oct. 28, according to the sheriff's office.