PHILADELPHIA, PA – The disturbing beating of a Philadelphia train station transit worker that occurred earlier in March was captured on surveillance video, showcasing a group of roughly ten teens punching and kicking the transit employee after he fell to the ground.
CAUGHT ON CAM: Teens Attack SEPTA Worker. Come On Septa – protect your people. https://t.co/kbFW5Fo674
— Tirzah Renee (@ikebanamama) March 19, 2021
The incident occurred during the evening of March 15th inside of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s 15th Street Station in Center City, according to reports.
At approximately 11:30 p.m. on the night of the attack, the victim was in the process of setting up the work zone for his crew when he was suddenly rushed by a group of teens. The attack was reportedly unprovoked.
Transit Workers Union Local 234 President Willie Brown commented on the attack, alleging that the victim hadn’t even said anything to the group of teens before they rushed and attacked him:
“There [were] no words passed. There was no reason. They just attacked him and it’s sometimes almost like they get points or they have this game going where they just jump on somebody.”
In the video of the incident, the worker can be seen getting punched on the back and side of his head by a couple of the teens, until he falls to the ground while slightly pressed against the side of a wall.
Numerous others then join in on the group beating as the victim is downed, with several punches and kicks delivered to the victim before members of the group start to casually walk away. The victim is currently recovering from the attack as of this writing.
But this incident has sparked calls from within the Transit Workers Union to see SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel resign from his position, under the notion that Chief Nestel isn’t doing enough to keep transit workers safe.
TWU Local 234 President Brown commented on those sentiments, saying the following:
“We have lost control of the subway system. I think it’s the leadership of the police department. I don’t think he has confidence in his own police force.”
Chief Nestel has delivered comments regarding the attack lodged against the transit worker, describing the actions of the teens as being “outrageous behavior.” However, Chief Nestel also noted that he has zero intentions of resigning from his role within police department.
The police chief’s proposed solution, for the meantime, is entertaining the possibility of “contracting” security guards for the subway system:
“We’re certainly taking measures to try to address that. Over the past month, discussions have been ongoing about contracting with a security guard firm to put guards on some platforms to maintain visibility and to serve as observation and reporting posts.”
Officials have yet to make any arrests in the case, as it is still being investigated. However, SEPTA riders, such as Darla Cobb of Southwest Philadelphia, are legitimately concerned for their safety while riding the subway:
“It’s terrible down here. It’s dangerous down here. Unbelievable and I’m scared for my life, because that could be me.”
This is a developing investigation.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further details on this case.
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Back in February, Law Enforcement Today shared a report regarding a pattern of violent incidents that has been plaguing the subway systems in New York City.
Here’s that previous report.
NEW YORK CITY, NY – With there being a massive decline in subway ridership due to the pandemic, that hasn’t stopped the likes of people being the victims of attacks on the New York City subways.
Some of the more recent incidents happened to be among the fatal category.
2 dead after string of NYC subway train stabbings; NYPD to add 500 officershttps://t.co/b5t21I2kIu
— Bill Ritter (@billritter7) February 14, 2021
On February 12th at approximately 11:30 p.m., police officials say that the body of an unidentified male was found having suffered numerous stab wounds to his neck and torso on an A train at Mott Avenue. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Then, just two hours later, police officials found the body of 44-year-old Claudine Roberts on an A train at West 207th Street and Broadway – once again, with the victim having suffered several stab wounds all over her body. She too was pronounced dead at the scene when EMTs arrived.
There had been two other reported stabbings that were non-fatal in the hours before the fatal stabbing from the evening of February 12th.
Those victims were only identified as a 43-year-old and 67-year-old, with officials alleging those attacks occurred at an A line subway station on West 181st Street.
Police were said to have taken 21-year-old Rigoberto Lopez into custody, with the suspect being charged with various counts of murder and attempted murder for all four attacks mentioned.
Deputy Chief Brian McGee stated that the attacks all appeared to be unprovoked, while also mentioning that the suspect has a history with mental illness.
Rise in NYC subway shove incidents have a common thread…
None of the victims pushed to the tracks were killed, but the incidents have a common thread: The attackers were all strangers with mental health issues, according to police.https://t.co/g40NO2Rj8Z
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2021
In other non-fatal attacks on the subways, there was the incident involving 26-year-old Rafael Wilson allegedly being shoved so hard while waiting for an A train at the Fulton Center that he came mere feet away from the third rail on the subway tracks.
For those unaware, the “third rail” on the subway tracks carries a direct current of 600 volts – a voltage amount that is considered generally lethal.
Authorities reportedly arrested 38-year-old Calvin Wilson for the alleged shoving attack that occurred on February 2nd – with police noting that the suspect in that case also carries a history involving mental illness and previous alleged attacks.
A Brooklyn man thrown onto the subway tracks by a mentally-ill man said he did nothing to provoke the attack.
“What if this was my mom?"
Rafael Wilson fears the pandemic has led to a rise in subway crime … "We’re just reverting back to … the 1980s."https://t.co/wzpYtuFQy8
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 4, 2021
The attack lodged against Rafael Wilson is just one of six incidents involving assailants shoving victims onto the subway tracks since December 24th of 2020.
While the New York City subways seem to be playing host to numerous attacks, ridership in reportedly down by over 70% due to the ongoing pandemic.
But a concerning theme coinciding with the attacks and murders ongoing within the subway system is how mental illness seems to be cropping up when detailing information about the alleged assailants.
Dr. Marc Tarle, a forensic psychiatrist who has analyzed serial transit offenders, believes that mental illness playing a role in subway attacks is, “the exception, not the rule”:
“Usually someone like that is in a state of psychosis or schizophrenia who isn’t doing well, isn’t on their medicine or doesn’t have access to their medicine.”
“But the roof isn’t falling down. The mental health system has held up surprisingly well in the pandemic. These incidents are the exception, not the rule.”
Yet, with there being such a decrease in riders in the subway, one would figure that subway attacks would be less prevalent.
However, NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan thinks that the lower presence of riders on the subways might be one of the ingredients fueling these sorts of attacks:
“Less people on the platform, less people around, it may encourage someone to take action.”
“A crowded subway station, a person may not want to pick somebody out, but when he sees someone standing by himself, they might want to do that.”
Apparently, a lack of nearby people was a factor in the recent incident that occurred earlier in February. On February 9th at approximately 7:50 a.m., 54-year-old Rosa Elizabeth Galeas-Forencio was shoved onto the subway tracks by a woman in an alleged unprovoked attack near E. 174th Street.
A 55-year-old woman was shoved onto the tracks in a Bronx subway station by a deranged stranger.
Good Samaritans helped the victim back onto the platform.
Police describe the suspect, who remains on the loose, as white and in her 30s.https://t.co/lzPDp9SWRp
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 9, 2021
Galeas-Forencio described the attack committed by the currently at-large suspect:
“She didn’t say anything to me. She just did it. When I fell, she came over to see where I was down there. She looked at me. And then she left.”
The victim was only among her attacker and one other man, who helped pull the woman up from the tracks after the suspect had fled the area:
“He got me out just in time. If that man wasn’t there, I wouldn’t exist anymore. It was just the three of us there.”
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve, 70-year-old subway station agent Kumar Narinder was reportedly shoved onto the subway tracks at Brooklyn’s Nassau Ave. station on the G line allegedly by a man later identified as 27-year-old Jhonathan Martinez.
In that incident, the victim reportedly suffered a fractured spine and various injuries to the head. Martinez in that case was arrested and subsequently charged with first-degree attempted assault, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, and harassment.
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