Man Sues CTA After Bus Driver Allegedly Chased, Attacked Him in the Loop

A man who was allegedly chased and attacked by a CTA bus driver last year in the Loop has sued the transit agency and the driver.

On Oct. 3, Barrett Sweet boarded a No. 151 Sheridan bus at the intersection of Devon and Clark to travel downtown to a doctor’s appointment, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court. During the trip, Sweet got into an altercation with the driver of the bus, Leonard Price.

Price ultimately pulled the bus over between designated stops, at which point Sweet hopped off near the intersection of Wabash and Upper Wacker Drive, according to the suit. Price then chased after Sweet, overtaking and punching him as he walked on the sidewalk.

Sweet suffered serious and permanent injuries during the attack, the suit claims. Those injuries have required, and may continue to require, Sweet to spend “large sums of money” for treatment.

In April, Price was charged with three counts of aggravated battery in connection with the incident, court records show. He is currently free on bond awaiting a June 13 court appearance.

Chicago Police referred questions about the case to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sweet’s lawsuit charges both the CTA and Price with willful and wanton conduct for failing to take Sweet to his stop, failing to properly secure him as a passenger, causing him to get off the bus to avoid physical violence and creating a situation where he became a victim of assault and battery. The suit also accuses Price of negligence.

Sweet is seeking more than $50,000 for damages and a jury trial, according to the suit.

The CTA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. It wasn’t immediately known whether Price is still employed by the transit agency.

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