CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago teen, tracked down on a CTA bus and nearly robbed on the way home from school, makes a personal plea to lawmakers.
She said she wants to see more Safe Passage workers on the route when she’s on her way home from school, especially in the winter months because it gets dark early. The teen said she also wants resources for teens in the form of programs and jobs because they are needed on the West Side.
“He was coming at me in an aggressive way.”
Chicago Public School student Destiny Brown talked about being the victim of a strong armed robbery at a CTA bus stop at Pulaski and Jackson on November 9.
“He asked me for money. I had money in my hand but I needed it to catch the bus. I told him I didn’t have any money. He was just coming in my face, to ask me why I’d do that,” said Brown.
Then the bus arrived. When Brown tried to board the bus…
“He was trying to snatch me off the bus and that’s when me and my friends, they helped me fight,” Brown said.
Brown said she used to see Safe Passage workers in the area in the past, but did not see any on the day she was attacked. Just last year, there were 88 attempted strong armed robberies on the West Side of Chicago and 10 arrests.
The high school sophomore shared her story at an event on the West Side to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to raise awareness about crime in her community. The leader for the group, Youth Opposed to Violence Everywhere, said she wants to see more Safe Passage workers and teen programs in her community.
The 16-year-old reached out to Illinois State Senator Patricia Van Pelt, with the hope of creating change.
“She’s demanding now that more funds come into the community and I’m so happy to hear her say that,” Van Pelt said. “We have people who have gone through something and that’s a compelling story to bring back to the Statehouse.”
Van Pelt, chair of the Public Health Committee, said she plans to bring Brown to Springfield to share her story with lawmakers.
In a statement CPS said the incident happened on a Safe Passage zone where workers had already gone for the day. CPS said it was deeply concerned that it happened to a student and said it plans to work with her to support her.