Roman Alvarado is lucky to be alive.
The CTA manager was honored by his bosses for going “above and beyond” his duties as a CTA transportation manager after taking down a sword-wielding man in the middle of the train tracks – a man who was intent on killing someone.
The large man claimed to be the devil and was armed with a double-edged Chinese sword during the June 16 Orange Line melee.
“My wife is very blessed to know that I’m alive and we’re very blessed simply because I have another day to live,” Alvarado said last week.
Before taking the man down, Alvarado said a prayer, which seemed to calm Albert Burage, who had barged into the Chinatown Red Line Station at 4:30 p.m. He was holding a five-foot sword and swearing he was the anti-Christ.
“It was the craziest day of my life,” said 26-year-old Security guard Dwight Demery, who first confronted Burage as he entered the Chinatown Red Line station – Burage had just stolen the sword from the Oriental Arts Center.
He shot past Dwight and continued onto the Chinatown platform, chased by the security guard and his dog. Burage jumped onto the tracks and headed north towards the Roosevelt Road station. Alvarado meanwhile was riding the Orange Line southbound, as part of his job as a transportation manager, monitoring operations on the elevated lines. He initially noticed the man but not the sword.
Alvarado told the train operator to call in to have the power turned off. The five-foot-nine, 180-pound Alvarado was able to rush Burage, grappling with the taller, heavier man. He was able to take the sword and throw it on the tracks. Alvarado, an ex-Marine police officer, suffered a wound on his arm requiring 15 stitches, and his right earlobe was slashed.
Burage had told Alvarado he was the devil and the anti-Christ. Alvarado stared into his eyes and began to pray for him, out loud. His prayer calmed things down enough for Alvarado to instruct the swordsman to put his hands behind his back to be handcuffed. Burage complied.
-Chicago Journal Reports