Chicago Police arrested a second suspect and charged him with first-degree murder in the death of former Marine Mamadou Balde, who died April 7 when he was pushed into a CTA train.
The second suspect, Fajour Hodges, 19, was free on bail at the time of the fatal attack at the Red Line station. Police took Hodges into custody Thursday, April 16, two days after issuing a warrant for his arrest. On April 10, they arrested and charged Ryan Munn, 18, also with first-degree murder.
Balde reportedly was approaching passengers when he started talking to Hodges, who’s Black, according to Cook County prosecutors. Prosecutors added that he smiled and put up his hands as if to fight before Hodges punched him in the face, with Munn, who’s white, jumping in with punches as well before the two pushed him into an oncoming train. Balde became stuck between two of the cars. He tried to free himself but was dragged across the platform until he collided with a metal partition. Balde left behind a grieving father, Al Balde.
“He didn’t want to fight,’’ Al Balde told The Chicago Tribune. “Yes, I am mad, that is correct. … This guy gave his life for his country.’’
The elder Balde was proud of his son for his work in the military and how it had an impact on his self-respect.
“He told me that they made him a man,’’ Al recalled. “He never called me sir, and when he came back home he called me sir.’’
When Mamadou came back from a second tour in 2015, he struggled with PTSD, even though he took medication. His father is heartbroken he didn’t have a chance to get his son proper treatment.
“He didn’t get the help he
needed,” Al said. “I lost my boy.”
Hodges has a bail hearing set for Friday, April 17. Munn was denied bail at an April 12 court hearing.