CTA Employees Facing Charges After Fist Fight Goes Viral

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on a CTA incident in which two CTA employees allegedly got into an altercation with a bus rider. The incident occurred on June 11. 28-year-old Leonard Anders Jr. and 46-year-old Milan Williams, both transit employees, have been fired and now face charges for their role in the incident. The victim, 43-year-old Lawrence Madden can be seen on video getting body slammed by Lawrence Madden who entered the altercation after a fight broke out between Anders and Madden.


CTA announced that the two men were being fired for violation of a number of rules, including conduct unbefitting of a CTA employee and failure to report the incident. The two men also face charges of misdemeanor battery and aggravated felony battery


Who Threw the First Punch?


There are two videos depicting the incident. The first video made its way around social media and appeared to show a transit employee body-slamming a passenger. Charges were filed, apparently, based on this footage. 


However, a second video was released shortly thereafter which appears to show the victim, Lawrence Madden, throwing the first punch at Anders. Then, when Anders began responding to Madden’s punch, Madden made no attempt to flee the conflict. 


Aggravated Battery in Illinois


While there are a number of circumstances that can lead to a charge of aggravated battery, such as striking a child, a handicapped person, a person over 60, or a state employee, in this case, the prosecution must be able to prove that the two men did “great bodily harm” to the passenger. Generally speaking, anything that requires a surgical intervention or leads to a permanent disfigurement can be considered aggravated battery. 


The Consent Defense


If you want to press aggravated charges against someone who committed battery on you, typically speaking, your hands must be clean. In other words, you cannot have provoked the fight that led to the serious bodily injury. This is known as a consent defense. More often than not, this involves two individuals who are engaged in a fistfight outside of a bar. The person who wins the fight cannot be charged with aggravated battery. Instead, they might face a disorderly conduct charge.


In other words, the law assumes that if you are willingly engaged in a fistfight with someone else, you are consenting to the potential battery that might occur. 


Chances are, the charges of aggravated battery against the two CTA employees will be dropped. The charges of simple or misdemeanor battery should be dropped, as well. Whether or not the two men will be reinstated as CTA employees, however, is up to the CTA and their collective bargaining agreement.


Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been charged with a serious crime in the Chicago area, call David Freidberg at (312) 560-7100 and allow us to handle your defense. Aggravated battery is considered a serious crime and prosecutors tend to seek jail time when these charges are in play. Call today and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.

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