Man caught in local police sting charged with battery

Maridel Reyes

A man was arrested and charged with assaulting an undercover officer during a sting operation on Evanston robbers, Chief Bruce Lewis of University Police told family members of NU students Saturday.

UP officers on Sunday declined to comment on the arrest, and Evanston Police Department officials could not be reached for comment over the weekend.

The Chicago Tribune reported in its Sunday edition that Thomas Eugene Whitehead, of Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, was arrested Wednesday night and charged with trying to rob an EPD officer outside the Davis Street Metra Station, 901 Davis St. Whitehead, 34, was charged with robbery and aggravated battery. He also was charged in connection with the Oct. 30 theft of a stereo from a Kendall College student’s car.

The officer was impersonating a commuter and was attacked by Whitehead, the Tribune reported. Police did not comment on whether the man is linked to the series of attacks on students.

In a separate incident, a 21-year-old Evanston resident was robbed last Monday while waiting for a northbound train at the same station where Whitehead was arrested.

EPD held a press conference Friday night to announce Wednesday’s arrest, Lewis told about 50 people during the Family Weekend President’s Address.

Six students have been attacked on or near campus since late September. In one incident a female graduate student told police her front teeth were knocked out when a group of men pushed her to the ground on the 600 block of Clark Street.

Two suspects confessed last week to assaulting a male student Oct. 3 near the intersection of Sherman Avenue and Noyes Street. But EPD was unable to arrest the men because the victim refused to sign a complaint, telling police he did not feel he was harmed.

The Daily’s Miki Johnson contributed to this report.