IL: 'Blue Line Attacker' Charged After Turning Himself In

A man whose face was plastered on every news station after he allegedly tried to sexually assault a 19-year-old woman while following her on the Blue Line turned himself into police headquarters last night, police said.

Leverne Burnette, 21, of the 4300 block of South Indiana Avenue, was charged with aggravated battery in a public place and attempted criminal sexual assault, both felonies. He appeared in bond court today before Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil, who ordered him held in lieu of $300,000 bail.

He turned himself in at the desk at police headquarters with his family about 7:30 p.m. at 3510 S. Michigan Ave., police said.

Arresting officers learned he was the man shown on CTA surveillance pictures as the "Blue Line attacker," the person wanted for an attempted criminal sexual assault, according to a police report.

A woman, 19, rode the train from the Clark and Lake Blue Line stop and left the train near 900 West Van Buren Street, according to an alert issued by Area Central detectives. Police released surveillance photos of the man believed to be the attacker.

The man followed the woman from the Lake Street stop and then, when she got off train, tried to sexually assault her in the 900 block of Van Buren about 12:18 a.m. Tuesday, according to the alert.

According to a police report, the victim had boarded a southbound Red Line train at the Fullerton station in Lincoln Park when she saw a man wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans, and carrying a black backpack get on the same train and follow her when she transferred to the Blue Line.

As she was sitting on the train, the man sat across from her and began making "hand gestures," but the she ignored him, the report said.

When she exited the train near the UIC/Halsted station, he followed her, pulled some of her clothing off and she began to scream. He fled east and hid behind cars. The victim also ran away and called police, the report said.


rsobol@tribune.com -- Twitter: @RosemarySobol1

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