A man who was stabbed to death on the Red Line over the weekend was trying to stop his alleged killer from attacking another passenger, Cook County prosecutors said Wednesday.
Tony Polk killed 54-year-old Troy Johnson during a struggle that began inside a Red Line car, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. That struggle ended with Polk stabbing Johnson in the chest as the pair tumbled onto an L platform Saturday, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said during a bail hearing Wednesday.
Polk, 40, and a female acquaintance had boarded the train, and Polk exchanged words with a person sitting near him, Murphy said. After moving to a seat across the aisle from his friend, Polk allegedly lunged at the woman and struggled with her over a folding knife she had tucked in her belt.
Polk, snatching away the knife, then grabbed a passenger seated across from Johnson and “put the knife to him,” Murphy said. The woman, who had cut her hand during the struggle with Polk, fled the train car, and Johnson jumped up to help the man being held at knifepoint by Polk, Murphy said.
Surveillance video on the train and platform captured the ensuing attack, Murphy said, and the woman later went to police to “clear her” name after seeing images of herself and Polk on television.
Polk was ordered held without bail on a charge of first-degree murder.