Oak Park man rescues screaming woman in 2 a.m. CTA attack

Forest Park police arrest Chicago man after sexual assault

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By Jean Lotus

Forest Park Review Editor

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.


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Craig Mathis from Oak Park  

Posted: June 24th, 2014 9:52 AM

for all who voiced interest in helping out with my fundraiser or just meeting me, here is the event page https://www.facebook.com/events/651775658240733/?source=1 Everyone is welcome!

John Mullins from Oak Park  

Posted: June 19th, 2014 3:07 PM

Great Job Craig! Bob would be proud of you.

Chris from Oak park  

Posted: June 19th, 2014 1:44 PM

I'm so grateful that Mr. Mathis intervined and prevented any more violence against the victim. Thank you, sir.

Charlie B  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 8:53 PM

Now that you know his crimnal history...have any plans beyond reading it? Nope. Just wanted to know huh? Good grief.

Grateful neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 7:52 PM

Wow, thank you so much, Craig, for saving this woman and helping the police to catch the man who attacked her. You are a hero.

Mary from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 5:49 PM

Thank you Craig for coming to the aid of this woman. I hope she does come to court to testify against him. To your friend who also aided this woman, I thank him for having the ability and the foresight to call the police. It is people like you who make this a great community.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 5:07 PM

I'm sorry. Make that nine arrests while on parole from prison. Misread my own notes. Three cases are currently active in court, not counting his aggravated criminal sexual assault, which would make the tenth arrest. As best I can tell, cases were dropped due to complaining witnesses not being in court, not because of any supposed "idiot judges."

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 5:00 PM

Jean's many duties don't allow her time to go to Maybrook. White has been on parole since 2013 for robbery and agg battery to a senior citizen. He has dozens of arrests, including six times while paroled; mostly criminal trespass to CTA and other sites, as well as indecent exposure. Has a court date Thursday on his latest arrest May 28 for urinating on CTA property. Was sentenced to 35 days in jail for a March 11 criminal trespass. The other charges were dropped due to witnesses not showing up.

Craig Mathis from Oak Park  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 4:55 PM

Thank you all for the kind words. I'm just over joyed that the victim escaped with minimal cuts and scrapes (from what it sounds like). I hope this story reaches enough people to inspire at least one person to act and not watch negativity happen. Thanks again everyone! :)

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 4:50 PM

Do we have some sort of a citizen award? If so, I gladly nominate Craig Mathis. My sincere Thank You for what you did.

Friar Tuck from OP  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 2:33 PM

Ms. Lotus, please follow up & disclose Mr. White's criminal history, if any. It would be revealing if this guy had priors, or was ever in the care of the mental health system. Worst case, this clown is a multiple offender set out among us by some idiot judge. Or as bad, he's got severe mental health issues but got no services from our incompetent state. Either way, this thing should be locked away from the rest of us for the remainder of his natural life. If he's just a criminal, torture him.


Posted: June 18th, 2014 1:42 PM

good thing that guy had money on his CTA card, those things take forever to reload on the machine. CTA should probably give this guy a $2.25 reward

The Duder  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 12:33 PM

Thank god this guy was there and willing to help. I hope this piece of human waste gets a hefty sentence where he's going. Skid marks like the attacker do not belong on the street, but let's see if our pathetically weak judges have the stack to give a proper jail term.

Teresa Powell  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 7:54 AM

I'm proud to know the amazing young man who stepped in to rescue the woman who was attacked. Craig is indeed an outstanding person.

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