Brown Line Machete Attack Victim: “I Had to Do Something”

Sierra told the he tried to grab the machete and ended up with cuts to his head and back

The victim of a machete attack at a Brown Line stop in Albany Park said Saturday he was cut with the machete when he tried to take it from a gang member holding it to the throat of his teenage brother.

The attack happened around 12:35 a.m. Monday at the CTA’s Kedzie L station in the 4600 block of North Kedzie, police said.

Jose Sierra, 26, said he and his 17-year-old brother Antoni Sierra were on their way home to Evanston from a birthday party when they were approached by several people who told them to “drop the crown” — meaning to show the gang sign for the Latin Kings. When they refused, Sierra said a man pulled out a machete and held it to his brother’s throat.

Sierra told the Chicago Sun-Times he tried to grab the machete and ended up with cuts to his head and back.

“I was just making sure my little brother was OK,” he said in an interview Saturday night. “It was touching his neck. I had to do something.”

Sierra said he was treated at Swedish Covenant Hospital for slash wounds, getting 21 stitches in his head. He said his brother wasn’t hurt but was “a little bit shocked.”

Sierra said he’s been living in Evanston for two years but used to live on the Northwest Side and still hangs out there a lot, “in a neighborhood that is gang-affiliated. They’re always coming at us. But we are not gangbangers. Usually, they let me go. But this time they didn’t.

“I was at my friend’s birthday party in that area. We were going home, taking the Brown Line to Belmont to transfer to the Red Line.”

Surveillance video footage shows the attackers ran off after scuffling with and cutting Sierra.

Seven people — including three 15-year-olds — have been charged in connection with the attack, according to the police, who identified Mario Elvira, 18, as the man who swung the machete at Jose Sierra.

Elvira, of the 5300 block of West Foster, and three other men were each charged with robbery, aggravated battery and trespassing on CTA property, police said.

The others charged are: Jean Salvatierra, 23, of the 4800 block of West Belle Plaine; Kevin Ramirez, 19, of the 1300 block of West Rosedale; and Kevar Preston, 20, of the 3600 block of West Cullom, police said.

Elvira is being held without bail, Preston on $450,000 bail and Salvatierra and Ramirez on $250,000, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office.

Three 15-year-olds — two boys and a girl — also were charged in the incident, charged with trespassing on CTA property, police said. One of the teens was also charged with aggravated assault. Their names were not released because of their ages.

“I’m glad the guys that did this to me are locked up,” Jose Sierra said. “There’s less scumbags on the street. But it’s not going to change anything in my neighborhood. The gang will most likley just recruit new guys.”

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