7 charged in Chicago gang signs machete attack

AP News
|
Posted: Sep 10, 2014 2:54 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Seven people, including three 15-year-olds, are accused in a machete attack that left a deep wound on a man's head after he and his brother refused to flash gang signs at a Chicago train station, authorities said Wednesday.

The attack occurred early Monday at the Kedzie Brown Line stop on the city's northwest side. Cook County State's Attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said a 26-year-old man and his 17-year-old brother were sitting there when the seven suspects — four adults and three juveniles — surrounded them and told them to flash gang signs.

When the brothers refused, saying they were not in a gang, one of the adults threw a beer he was holding to the ground, pulled a machete out of his pants and "held it to the throat of one of the victims."

One of the juveniles pulled out a box cutter and pointed it at one of the brothers, too, Simonton said.

The suspects blocked the brothers' path so they couldn't escape. The older brother tried to keep the situation from escalating further, but "one of the defendants swung the machete at him ... causing a massive head wound," she said.

She said the blow left a gash 6 inches long and 1.5 inches deep on the man's head, adding that the attack was captured on Chicago Transit Authority surveillance video. The man was taken to an area hospital, where he received about 30 stitches.

Police said the seven were all arrested about 45 minutes after the attack not far from the station.

At a court hearing Tuesday, the four men were formally charged with felony counts of robbery, aggravated battery with great bodily harm, and trespassing on CTA property.

The man police say swung the machete, 18-year-old Mario Elvira, was ordered held in lieu of $450,000 bond at the hearing. A second suspect, 20-year-old Kevar Preston, was also held in lieu of $450,000 bond. Bond for Jean Salvatierra, 23, and Kevin Ramirez, 19, was set at $250,000 each.

Police in a news release said one of juveniles, a 15-year-old boy, was charged with aggravated assault and trespassing on CTA property. Two other teens — a 15-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl — also were charged with trespassing on CTA property, police said.

The adults are due to return to court Sept. 15.