‘It Was So Hateful': Man Says He Was Attacked on CTA for Being Gay

A man said he was the victim of a brutal attack on the CTA Red line for being gay.

Ryan McCarthy, who was born and raised in Chicago, rides the train daily to and from work. But he said what happened late Friday was unexpected.

“I stood up. He continued to punch me in the face and then it wasn't until other passengers created a barrier between me and him that he actually stopped,” McCarthy said.

“I didn't touch him, didn't look at him. Didn't make eye contact. That's why it was such a huge surprise to me," McCarthy said.

A witness explained what he saw from a few seats over.

“I was scared for myself and everyone else on train,” Van Sewell said. “Some onlookers tried to grab the guy and hold him back.”

McCarthy’s wounds are now healing. He is sharing his story and cell phone photos to help catch his attacker.

"It was so hateful, such a hate crime," McCarthy said. "All I did was sit next to this passenger on this train. Immediately he pushed me off and started punching me in the face. So unexpected."

The CTA said in a statement: Though incidents of battery on our system are extremely rare, the CTA takes every incident reported to us very seriously. We work very closely with the Chicago Police Department to assist with criminal investigations.”

The Chicago Police Department said an investigation is underway.

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