Video Shows CTA Attack as Agency Touts Lower Crime Stats

CTA officials say "serious crimes" were down 26 percent in 2014, the lowest in four years

Security footage from on board a southbound Chicago Transit Authority Red Line train was being reviewed after cell phone video posted online showed a group of young men harassing, kicking, and beating a lone passenger.

"We have studio-quality photographs of those offenders, and police now have them. I believe it's just a matter of time before those juveniles are tracked down and arrested," CTA President Forrest Claypool said Tuesday morning.

From signs above the victim at the end of the train car, the video appears to have been recorded Sunday night at 9:29 p.m. The video ends when the group reached the 47th Street station. The person who shot the video and posted it to Facebook attempted to make it clear in comments that he was not attacking the man, only recording video.

"This type of an incident, as terrible as it is, is actually rare on our system. I think it's important for people to understand that," Claypool said. "We have a very safe system [and provide] 1.7 million rides a day. It's very rare. However, when it happens we want to know about it and we want to attack it. One incident is too many."

Claypool pointed to new data the CTA was just releasing that indicated "serious crimes," as the agency identifies them, were down 26 percent in 2014. That's the lowest level in four years. Thefts and robberies were down 28 percent, their data show.

Transit officials credit the sharp drop to the 23,000 surveillance cameras that have been installed throughout the network. Those cameras have helped identify suspects and directly led to 235 arrests, an increase of about 12 percent from 2013, they said.

The viewer who brought Sunday's attack footage to NBC Chicago's attention said she reported it to Facebook and received a response that read, in part: "We reviewed the video you reported for containing graphic violence and found it doesn't violate our Community Standards."

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