As CTA police work to combat violence, families share horrific stories of violent attacks – NBC Chicago

Even as more police and private security personnel are added to Chicago Transit Authority platforms, trains and buses, families and friends are sharing stories of brutal attacks in recent weeks.

Last week at the Cicero Green Line station, Bernardo Gomez, a few days away from his 27and birthday, was the victim of one of these unprovoked attacks.

His family say he was kicked in the face during the attack and later died from his injuries.

This week a 14 year old boy was arrested and charged with first degree murder in the case.

“He didn’t hurt anyone. He was just minding his own business,” his sister Julia said. “We had all these plans, and we were just waiting for him to come home.”

Julia described her brother as a protective person and father, deeply attached to his family and his faith, and expresses his shock at the youth of his alleged attacker.

“A 14-year-old eighth-grader with the intention of hurting someone like that,” she said.

Julia Gomez says what pains her the most is that no one stepped in to help her brother as he was beaten to death.

Bystanders helped another man, Derek Kucynda, who was attacked on a CTA train on May 15 as he was returning home on the red line.

Police say a passenger smashed a glass bottle into the side of Kucynda’s face, leaving him with serious injuries that led to him being admitted to an intensive care unit.

His colleague Nigeria Gould was with him at the time of the attack.

“He walked over, took a large glass bottle and smashed it against Derek’s head,” she said. “There were a few people filming this attack.”

Kucynda says the attack likely would have continued had it not been for a group of brave passengers who intervened.

“They basically saved my life and took that person away from me,” he said. “I could have been beaten for well over two minutes. They held it off.”

The CTA says it continues to add new resources to its system and strengthen its collaborative efforts with Chicago police. An additional 130 officers have been deployed to patrol platforms, trains and buses, and the CTA says it is also continuing to add private security patrols throughout its system.

NBC Chicago

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