Man Body-Slammed By CTA Bus Driver Shares His Story, Attorneys Prepare To File Lawsuit

Mike Krauser
July 01, 2020 - 12:21 pm
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A South Side man who was seen in a widely-circulated cellphone video being body-slammed to the pavement by a CTA bus driver is telling his side of the story, as his lawyers prepare to file a lawsuit.

Lawrence Madden, 43, said he was on a CTA bus headed south on Western Avenue around 2 a.m. on June 11 and he was just trying to get home to see his father. The driver, he said, stopped the bus near 77th Street to talk to another bus driver.

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Madden said they were talking for about 10 minutes, when he told the driver he was being unprofessional and that set him off.

"He literally got upset, because I was telling him that he was unprofessional. And I am just trying to get to the house, and he said 'you will get to the house when I get you there,'" Madden said.

Madden said he got out of the back of the bus, as the driver was coming after him.

"He tried to snatch me from the bus, he hit me and kicked me three times. I am getting up trying to protect myself, defend myself, and the bus driver who he was talking to came up from behind me slammed me on my back," he said.

"I am going through pain. I can't sleep. I've got headaches, depression, paranoia," he said.

One of Madden’s attorneys, Arielle Williams, said the bus driver had a responsibility to Madden and the other passengers to get them to their destinations in a safe and timely manner.

“Instead, he attacked Mr. Madden,” she said.

The 10-second video posted on Twitter begins with a man squaring off against a bus driver, apparently ready to fight. And then, another CTA bus driver comes up to the man from behind and body-slams him to the pavement. 

Madden said police responding to the scene failed to help him, even though he said he needed a paramedic.

"Instead of the police rendering aid to Mr. Madden - Mr. Madden asked the police for medical attention - they left the scene," Williams said.

Madden said before the officers left they asked him "what did you do?"

"He had pain to his back, to his neck, to his head. He has post-traumatic stress," Williams said. "When there is an individual who is injured, you protect him. The police actually said to Mr. Madden, 'what did you do?'"

She said Madden walked injured to his father's home. 

His attorneys said they are planning to file a lawsuit against the bus drivers, but also want them to face felony battery charges for attacking Madden.

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Williams and his other attorneys said they have subpoenaed the CTA for surveillance video from the bus. They said the video would prove Madden did nothing to provoke the attack.

“There are many things that you have not seen, and we’re going to get that out,” Williams said.

CTA officials said the two employees involved were fired last week for conduct unbecoming of a CTA employee, and for failure to report the incident, following an internal investigation.

“CTA’s number one priority is the safety and security of its riders and employees. The behavior of these former employees was unacceptable and is not at all reflective of the thousands of men and women who take pride and responsibility in their CTA duties,” a spokesperson stated in an email.