PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — In recent weeks, two teenage girls have been attacked without provocation on the subway.
Acting Police Commissioner for SEPTA Charles Lawson described one of the incidents as a “disgusting, unprovoked assault on a Central High School student.”
“The pattern between both victims was that they were Asian students. There was no verbalization at all between the victims and the suspect, so pinpointing a specific reason is a little more difficult,” Lawson said.
This pattern prompts police to investigate the attacks as possible hate crimes.
SEPTA police say they have video footage of the perpetrator. Investigators are working on an arrest after the 27-year-old man was seen on video assaulting two SEPTA students in the system during the morning rush hour.
“The suspect grabs the student by the neck and throws her to the ground and immediately exits the premises,” Lawson said.
The attack occurred around 7 a.m. on September 9 at Walnut-Locust Station. Authorities say the 17-year-old Central High School student was thrown to the ground and choked.
Four days later, a 13-year-old Masterman School student was attacked at 7:35 a.m. at City Hall Station.
“In the second incident, the suspect exits the train and hits the student a few times in the face and body,” Lawton said.
SEPTA says it flooded the system with officials and outreach workers at the height of the trip.
“7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. during school holidays and evening rush hour,” Lawton said.
Drivers say they need more help.
“It’s uncomfortable,” said Tyche Matthews of West Philadelphia.
“Walking around especially with a baby is not safe at all,” said Maya of North Philadelphia.
SEPTA says in this case, once a warrant is issued, they can make a quick arrest.
As for problems with the system, Lawson says he should contact outreach workers in yellow vests for help.
Drivers can also use the SEPTA Police Transit app to report problems. It is a direct link to shipping.
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https://6abc.com/septa-transit-police-attack-walnut-locust-station-city-hall/12244179/ SEPTA police investigating attacks on high schoolers at Walnut-Locust Station, City Hall Station