The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

5 Teens Accused Of Beating Cyclist Who Tried To Sell Bike Online

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Aug 20, 2015 2:40PM

CPD handouts

A cyclist who tried to sell his bicycle some extra cash before heading back to college at Northern Illinois University this month was violently mugged by a group of teens in Wicker Park after one answered his Facebook ad, according to authorities.

The young man went to meet a potential buyer for his KHS Flite bike Tuesday at the intersection of Damen and Division Avenues, the Tribune reports, when a group of teens came upon him, pepper sprayed him and beat him with baseball bats and a metal pipe.

Four of the teens were arrested by police on charges of armed robbery and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and arraigned in felony court Wednesday afternoon. A fifth teen was also arrested but apparently charged as a minor. The four teens, who hail from West Town, Kenwood and Skokie, were ordered held in jail on a bond of $75,000 each by Judge Peggy Chiampas. Their names are Carter Coates, Andrew Patterson and Michael Kralis, and all are 18-years-old, according to court records.

The cyclist, 20-year-old Eric Batlle, told the Tribune that he struggled to keep ahold of his bike, even as his attackers blinded him with pepper spray, beat him and dragged his bike across the ground with him holding onto it. He yelled for help and eventually police officers arrived and arrested the teens, who at first claimed that Batlle had started the fight.

Batlle, who said he recognized one teen from Lincoln Park High School, where he graduated in 2013, told the Tribune he was all the more surprised by the teens' actions.

"Now these kids are looking at felony charges," he said. "Do you really want to waste the rest of your life for a bike?”

The teens were recognized across social media when the Tribune published its story on the attacks Wednesday. Many Twitter users said they were honors graduates from such top high schools as Whitney Young and Lincoln Park High School.