When he was on his way home from work, a chef was pushed face-first onto the CTA tracks in Wicker Park.
Jose Duran said he was standing about a foot away from the platform edge, wearing headphones, which he said he will never do again.
His face is still swollen and cut, and his cheekbone is broken. For the next four weeks, his jaw will be wired shut.
“I started being able to talk a little bit a few days ago,” Duran said.
All because of the actions of a complete stranger on November 29. Duran was riding the CTA Blue Line home from work at the restaurant Schwa.
“I was waiting for my train at the Milwaukee and Division stop,” he recalled. “I just heard a ‘Hey!’ and then I was on the tracks.”
According to Duran, the man shoved him face-first onto the underground L tracks.
“It was a strong enough push that I just wasn’t able to do anything,” he explained.
Police wrestled Cory Patterson into custody as bystanders helped a bloodied Duran up from the tracks. In the process, he broke an officer’s nose.
Duran swerved to avoid the electrified third rail.
“The first two days that I was kind of still in the hospital with everything I was like, ‘I could not be here,'” he said.
Instead of being angry, the Michelin-starred chef is thankful for what he previously took for granted.
“Right now I’m on a liquid diet so I miss food. I miss the texture, all the little things,” Duran explained.
He now hopes to relocate closer to his restaurant in order to avoid commuting whenever possible, and he is eager to get back in the kitchen and start eating again.
Patterson has been charged with attempted murder and assault on a police officer in connection with the attack. He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.