An ITT grad student riding a bicycle on a Near South Side bike path was knocked off the bike by a mob of kids who hit him with a wooden toy rifle, then beat and robbed him Wednesday night.
Four boys -- between the ages of 10 and 16 -- have been charged with aggravated battery and attempted robbery, police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak said Thursday.
David Coxhead, 37, of Hyde Park, said he was riding his normal route home on Lake Shore Drive when the incident occurred.
Coxhead said he was riding on a path near 31st Street Beach at about 9:30 p.m. when one of four boys, who were part of a larger group, hit him with a replica wooden rifle and knocked him off his bike.
"They knocked me down and they were kicking me,’’said Coxhead," who is studying industrial organizational psychology.
The 12-year-old who allegedly hit him with the rifle demanded his belongings while the other kids stood by, and appeared to be getting closer and closer, he said.
"He said, 'Give me all your s---,' and I said, ‘Hey all I have is textbooks here,'" recalled Coxhead.
He said that though it was dark, he could see the forms of about seven suspects, mostly male. They took the bag and his bike and began running away, leaving him on the ground, bleeding.
Coxhead said another group of kids, who was possibly trying to warn him prior to the attack, helped him up and called police.
Kubiak said a marked squad car was nearby on Lake Shore Drive, and the suspects, who still had the "rifle," were apprehended on the 35th Street overpass after dropping the bag.
Coxhead said he later got his bike and bag back.
He was treated at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center for lacerations and had to have 11 stitches above his eye, Kubiak said.
"I was jumped by elementary school kids. It’s a little embarrassing, getting jumped by little kids, but when they have a weapon and take you by surprise, and start clubbing you," he said.
Next time, "I will probably find another way home."