An Oak Park man helped police arrest a 48-year-old Chicago man who allegedly attacked a 100-pound woman on the Harlem Avenue Blue Line platform around 2 a.m., demanded sex and then knocked her onto the tracks where he attempted, unsuccessfully, to pull off her pants. The 36-year-old victim told police that Chester White approached her as she stood by the stairs on the train platform around 2 a.m. June 10 and told her he “wanted sex.” He then allegedly grabbed her, telling her, “If you don’t do this, you’ll end up on the tracks.” As the two struggled, both the victim and White fell from the platform onto the train tracks, where the woman said she struck the back of her head on the ground. When she screamed for help, two men walking on Circle Avenue above the tracks looked down and saw a man lying on top of a woman on the train tracks. Craig Mathis, 31, of Oak Park, used his CTA pass to enter the station, and ran down the stairs onto the Circle Avenue platform, while the second man called 911. When confronted by Mathis, White began to walk quickly east on the platform, heading toward Harlem Avenue. Witnesses pointed White out to Forest Park police, who found the victim sitting on the stairs. Police observed small lacerations on her hands from the train embankment. She said she had rib pain but declined medical attention. White was taken into custody and charged with criminal sexual assault.

Mathis told NBC news: “It could have gotten ugly with the train there. She was all alone.”

“It felt good to prevent something serious from happening,” he said.


Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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