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Marine veteran held without bail after allegedly stabbing CTA employee, assaulting police officer with blunt object

Judge's gavel. (Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau/U.S. Air Force)
November 19, 2021

A Cook County judge ordered an Arlington Heights man, a former Marine, held without bail after he was charged with attempted first-degree murder after allegedly stabbing a CTA employee and assaulting a police officer on an ‘L’ platform in the Loop last weekend.

Albert Burage, 39, is accused of stabbing a 44-year-old CTA employee on the platform of the Jackson Blue Line station, at 328 S. Dearborn St., and striking a police officer who responded to the scene with a guitar stem Sunday night.

In court, Assistant State’s Attorney Sergio Gomez noted that Burage, a graduate of Hyde Park High School, had been charged with attempted murder in 2012 in a similar case in which he had been found not guilty by reason of insanity. In the 2012 case, Burage was accused of attacking and injuring a CTA guard with a sword at the Roosevelt Red, Orange and Green Line ‘L’ station. Burage’s public defender also noted his apparent history of mental illness in court, asking for him to be held on a cash bond with a health care order. She said Burage had been honorably discharged from the military and added that he only had $100 for bond.

In addition to the attempted murder charge, Burage also was charged with two felony counts of aggravated battery, including one of a transit employee and one of a peace officer. Cook County judge Mary Marubio ordered him held without bail ion Tuesday.

On Sunday, the CTA employee saw Burage engaged in a fight on the platform with two unknown individuals who appeared to be “antagonizing” Burage, and who were hitting him with what appeared to the transit employee to be a belt with a chain, Gomez said.

The employee watched as Burage allegedly took a knife out and threatened the individuals, throwing the knife and a bicycle in their direction, Gomez said. Both the knife and the bicycle ended up on the CTA tracks, and Burage apparently went onto the tracks and retrieved the knife. As Burage returned to the platform, he allegedly threatened the CTA employee, “indicating that he was going to kill” him, Gomez said.

Burage is accused of then stabbing the employee multiple times in the face, arm and head. Gomez said Burage then ran away, made contact with two Chicago police officers, and smashed a nearby guitar on a pillar. Burage allegedly began “wielding the stem of the broken guitar,” before using it to strike one of the police officers in the face and arm, according to Gomez.

Burage was taken into custody and the knife was recovered. The CTA employee was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he had been listed in fair condition, police said at the time. The police officer’s condition was stabilized at an unspecified hospital. Burage was taken to Stroger Hospital with unknown injuries, where his condition also was stabilized.

Asking for Burage to be held without bail, Gomez noted the attacks were captured on CTA cameras and on the phone camera of a witness. Gomez added that after being arrested, Burage made admissions to attacking the CTA employee and police officer “because they were on the side” of the people he fought with, and “stated that he was attempting to kill them.”

Earlier in the day, Gomez added, Burage had been arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge in Forest Park after allegedly battering employees at a place of worship there with a drumstick. He was then released on bond.

On Tuesday, Marubio ordered Burage held without bail and granted a health care order.

Burage is next expected back in court Nov. 24.

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