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19-Year-Old Woman Beaten On Blue Line While Bystanders Look On

By Mae Rice in News on Apr 29, 2016 8:12PM

Updated at 6 p.m. with details from police: On a Blue Line train Thursday, a 19-year-old woman was beaten and bitten on the hand by a man trying to steal her phone. The two male bystanders in her train didn't help her.

“They just watched,” Jessica Hughes, a student at DePaul, told WBBM. “I feel like people just don’t want to get involved.”

The attack, which happened at 10 a.m. just past the UIC-Halsted stop, left Hughes with bruising on her head, and a bite mark on her hand, according to CBS. She was taken to Mt. Sinai with minor injuries, police said.

Hughes reports that the attack happened just after most passengers had gotten off at UIC-Halsted. A man came and sat down next to her in the mostly-empty car, and started grabbing at her headphones in an attempt to steal her iPhone from her pocket. He then pushed her to the floor and "beating on my head," she told CBS.

Hughes told CBS her attacker was with a woman, and that he and his companion left without her phone. The investigation is ongoing, and Area North detectives are still determining if the incident was caught on video, police said.

We recently covered another instance of bystander effect in Chicago, where a man was run over by a car and killed in River North in February. Bystanders didn't help him after an assailant punched him and left him unconscious in the street; in fact, passersby robbed the man while he was unconscious.