IL: Charges Filed Against Orange Line Robbery Suspects

July 27--Charges have been filed against two men suspected in the armed robbery of several riders on a CTA Orange Line train last week, police said.

Michael A. Taylor, 20, of the 700 block of North Waller Avenue, is charged with four counts of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, according to a statement from the Chicago Police Department Office of News Affairs.

Taylor was arrested in Rockford about 10:15 p.m. Friday, the statement said. Taylor was also charged in connection with a shooting at 12:25 a.m. May 12 on the 5700 block of West Ohio Street. In that incident, police said, Taylor produced a handgun and fired numerous times in the direction of three females and a male with whom he was arguing. No one was hurt in that incident.

Taylor was ordered held on $300,000 bail in bond court Sunday.

The identity of the second suspect was not available immediately but at a press conference this morning, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he has also been charged. Both men fled the area because of the media attention on the case but were later located in Gary and Rockford, McCarthy said during the press conference held after an event at the Chicago Police Memorial at Gold Star Park.

The Gary suspect will be extradiated and he was arrested on a warrant, McCarthy said. "He's not going anywhere," McCarthy said. "So that case is coming to fruition and about to be closed."

Police are not looking for any other suspects, he added.

The incident happened July 16 when two men who had been riding the Southwest Side CTA line for much of the day robbed several people between the Halsted and Roosevelt stops on an Orange Line train.

The two announced a robbery as the doors of a Loop-bound train were closing at the Halsted stop around 4:15 p.m. July 16, police said.

The robbers targeted a train heading downtown from Midway Airport, presumably filled with travelers carrying plenty of cash and unfamiliar with the CTA, authorities said. After robbing at least four people and pistol-whipping a woman, they got away with a little more than $100, plus an assortment of electronic items and bank cards, police said.

The robbers picked one rail car to raid instead of moving from car to car through the emergency doors, authorities said, minimizing the likelihood that panicked passengers would risk dialing 911 on their cellphones or attempt to push the call button that is inside each rail car to alert the train operator.

The thieves collected an iPad, two laptops, an iPhone, bank cards and cash totaling $105, according to police. Four victims have been identified, and a fifth was pending confirmation Thursday.

Area Central Detectives conducted the investigation.

After a meeting on Monday with community leaders about Chicago's violence, McCarthy had hinted to reporters that developments in the case would be coming soon.

"We're making really good progress in that case. And I don't think that we're going to be having too much longer to wait before I could tell you what's going on," McCarthy said in the lobby of Chicago Public Safety Headquarters.

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