By Jeremy Gorner
4:05 PM CDT, June 9, 2011
The brother of rock musician Billy Corgan was mugged on a Red Line train on the Near North Side this morning by a group who punched him and took his iPod, police say.
Jesse Andersen said he was riding the CTA Red Line train early this morning on his way to his 5 a.m. shift at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, listening to Nelly Furtado on his iPod.
Several teens started walking around the train and bothering people, including one who approached Andersen and tried to get him to do a fist bump, he said.
One person from the group — whom Andersen described as a “tom boy” wearing a red baseball cap — sat next to him, asked who he was listening to and snatched his iPod from his hand.
“I’m like, ‘Give it back to me…Give it back. Give it back,’” Andersen said. He said one person from the group then replied: “It’s your damn loss, brother.”
The iPod changed hands among the teens as two of them, one wearing a navy blue shirt and another wearing a white shirt, blocked him from trying to get it back, he said. When the train stopped at the southbound Chicago Avenue platform, Andersen said he chased after them.
One of the teens punched him in the face and the group escaped. Andersen said he mostly suffered a "bruised ego.”
“I guess my ego took the best of me,” Andersen said.
The assailants, believed to be four males and the one female, were described as 15 to 25 years old, Chicago police said. No one was in custody.
On Corgan’s Twitter page today, the Smashing Pumpkins front man shared the news with his fans: "My little brother Jesse was attacked and robbed this morning by 3 men. he's ok, but if you want to send him some love.”
This morning's attack followed a Wednesday afternoon mugging at the Brown Line stop three blocks away, in which a group stole a male victim's wallet and iPhone. That group comprised four to six people, with one of them possibly female, police said. But police couldn't say if the same people were responsible for both attacks.
Andersen, of Evanston, said he’s never run into any problems on the Red Line, a train line he’s been riding for more than 10 years. Sometimes, he said, he enjoys his nights out and will sometimes take the Red Line home at 2 a.m.
He said it’ll be a little scary to take the Red Line for a while, but knows he’ll have to eventually get over that. “I know I’ll just have to shake it off (and) continue with my life.”
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