'I Got Robbed!': Man in Wheelchair Says No One Helped Him During CTA Robbery - NBC Chicago

'I Got Robbed!': Man in Wheelchair Says No One Helped Him During CTA Robbery

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    Man in Wheelchair Says No One Helped Him During CTA Robbery

    What would you do if you saw someone getting robbed on the CTA? At least five people saw Larry Biondi getting robbed on the Blue Line recently and they chose to do nothing. Regina Waldroup reports. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018)

    What would you do if you saw someone getting robbed on the CTA?

    At least five people saw Larry Biondi getting robbed on the Blue Line recently and they chose to do nothing.

    "I was in shock," Biondi told NBC 5 Wednesday. "Nobody on the car tried to help me."

    Biondi has cerebral palsy and uses a wheel chair paired with a keyboard to communicate.

    "I noticed two guys were seated across from me in the front car," he recalled.

    He became the target of thieves as he rode the train, he said.

    "One of the men approached me and distracted me by asking me if I wanted drugs," he said. "The other guy who was seated took my phone off the bracket on my wheelchair."

    Biondi says when the doors opened at the Damen stop one of the the men got control of his wheelchair--but he tried to fight back.

    "(I) rolled up to the guy who took my phone and punched him in the chest with my left fist.

    Biondi says he tried to get the conductors attention but had no luck

    "I yelled, 'I got robbed, I got robbed!'" he remembered, adding that no one responded to his cries for help.

    He wasn’t hurt but he says this wouldn’t have happened if the CTA had someone there to help him.

    "I told the customer assistant I needed a gap filler when I got to Illinois district," he said.

    The CTA says it has been working closely with police on the incident, and has provided video to assist with the investigation.

    "All CTA rail stations are staffed, and either a customer service assistant or a train operator can assist customers who use wheelchairs," the transit agency said in a statement. "We are still looking into the specifics of this incident. CTA did assist the customer, but we are still trying to determine what information, if any, CTA had during its contact with the customer, and what occurred before and after that contact."

    Biondi also says people need to do what’s right —and get involved.

    "We need people to help other people who are in distress (and) look out for each other," he said.

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