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Mob action lakeview belmont avenue CTA

(JoVona Taylor/RedEye )
June 25, 2013|By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas | RedEye

A day before the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, before thousands of fans poured onto the streets of Lakeview and Lincoln Park and some people smashed the windows of busineses up and down Clark Street, the neighborhood saw a different kind of mob action.

A group of 15 to 20 youths mobbed three men near the Belmont Avenue CTA station Monday afternoon, state prosecutors said, taking their cell phones and punching and kicking them to the ground.

Two men, Morgan Townsend, 22, and Deondre "Dre" Williams, 18, were arrested shortly after the incident at 5:10 p.m. according to Cook County Criminal Court records, and were charged with three counts of aggravated battery, one count of robbery, and one count of mob action. They appeared at bond court Tuesday afternoon and were each held on $350,000 bond.

The victims included a 25 year-old man from Orland Hills, Ill.; a 21 year-old man from Grand Boulevard; and a 22 year-old man from Tinley Park. All had cuts and head injuries, and two were treated at the Illinois Masonic Hospital, according to the police report.

State prosecutors said two of the victims had been standing at the Belmont Station, checking their phones, when two people ran by and stole the phones. They chased one thief into an alley, prosecutors said, and tried to recover the phones. Then Townsend and Williams allegedly came to the rescue of the unidentified thief, and began beating the victims, first with their hands and a bottle, then with a piece of wood as well.

Court records said witnesses saw the young men strike the victims with a two-by-four and a broken glass bottle before fleeing. Video from the CTA station also caught some of the alleged assault.

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