NBC10 - Cydney Long
Police have a suspect in custody following an armed assault on a SEPTA bus. Police are seeking the public's help identify the victim.
SEPTA Police are asking for the public's help in finding the victim of an assault following an after an argument on a bus.
"This is unusual, usually we're looking for help finding a suspect," said SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel.
The unidentified man, who was in his mid-40's or 50's, was riding on SEPTA's Route 23 bus around 10:45 a.m. on Sept. 18 when he got into a verbal fight with another man on the bus.
Both men exited the bus near the 12th and Wallace Streets in the Spring Garden section of the city when the assault occurred.
In surveillance video captured from on-board the bus, shows the victim throw down his bag, ready to fight, when the suspect enters the frame brandishing a .45-calibur handgun.
Police say another piece of surveillance video shows the victim motioning a punch towards the suspect's face, but he did not hit the suspect.
"This is very concerning," Nestel said. "This is how people get shot, this is how people get killed."
The victim ran and the guman followed. The bus driver jumped out and helped convicned the gunman not to fire his weapon. But he spent 20 minutes negotiating with the man and not one passenger on the bus called police for help -- a fact that disturbs Nestel.
"I have more of a problem with the fact that there are at least 20 people on the bus and no one calls 911," he said.
SEPTA Police have questioned the suspect, who had a permit for the gun, and would like to charge him with assault and weapons violations, but first they need the victim and witnesses to come forward.
"A permit provides you the opportunity to carry a firearm, not to indiscriminately point it at people," Nestel said. "If your life is not in jeopardy, that gun stays in the holster, secured and sealed."
As for those who ride the Route 23 bus every day, they feel police need to begin riding the lines.
"It's great that they have the new cameras on there and they just need to have police ride the bus," said Donald Conover. "It's getting to that point in the city, it's getting really bad."
SEPTA Police are asking anyone who may recognize the victim or happen to have been riding on the bus when the incident took place to call them.