CHICAGO, IL -- Seven people, including three juveniles, have been arrested and charged with attacking two brothers with a machete at the Brown Line Kedzie CTA station in the Albany Park neighborhood early Monday morning. The brutal attack was captured on surveillance video.
A 26-year-old Jefferson Park man and his 17-year-old brother were waiting for the train shortly after midnight Monday when a group of four men and three teens approached them and asked them to flash gang signs. When the brothers refused and stated they were not part of a gang, police say 18-year-old Mario Elvira pulled out a machete and struck the 26-year-old victim in the head.
The 26-year-old remains hospitalized at Swedish Covenant Hospital in stable condition. The attack caused a gash 6 inches long and 1 1/2 inches deep, which required more than 30 stitches to close.
Police said the seven suspects - Elvira; Jean Salvatierra, 23; Kevin Ramierz, 19; Kevar Preston, 20; and two 15-year-old males and one 15-year-old female - then fled. They were apprehended by police shortly thereafter. All of the suspects are from the North side of Chicago.
A source, who provided ABC7 Eyewitness News with security surveillance footage, said he believes the only reason the attackers stopped was because a CTA train approached.
The attack was surprising to one neighborhood group, because gang activity in Albany Park has seemingly been in decline.
"There's some tagging and occasional incidents of violence, but it's not part of a larger systemic trend," said Eric Filson, Albany Park Neighbors.
The suspects appeared before Judge Bourgeois in bond court Tuesday. Elvira and Preston are being held on $450,000 bond, while Salvatierra and Ramirez are being held on $250,000 bond. They are next due in court on Sept. 15.