SEPTA Panhandler Arrested, Receives 10th Citation: Police

By David Chang and Vince Lattanzio
|  Thursday, Nov 21, 2013  |  Updated 5:35 AM EDT
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Police say a plain-clothes officer arrested an aggressive panhandler on a SEPTA train.

SEPTA

Police say a plain-clothes officer arrested an aggressive panhandler on a SEPTA train.

Police say a man with several outstanding bench warrants was arrested at a SEPTA station.

A plain-clothes SEPTA officer says he witnessed 42-year-old Eric Rubin aggressively begging passengers for money on a train at the 13th Street Market Frankford Station.

The officer says he took Rubin off the train and ran a background check, revealing he had four outstanding bench warrants.

Rubin was arrested and cited for panhandling. Investigators say it was his 10th panhandling citation so far this year.

Last August, SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel told NBC10 that officers frequently cite aggressive panhandlers, but a current Philadelphia Municipal Court rule is enabling repeat offenders.

“Our more aggressive panhandlers never have any repercussions for their actions because they don’t come to court, we can’t get a stay away order and they never pay the fines, but no warrant is ever issued,” he said.

Under court Rule 1002, people charged with criminal ordinance violations can be tried without being in court. The rule was amended in 2010 to cut down on a flood of backlogged bench warrants.

CLICK HERE to read our original report on SEPTA panhandling.

Also on NBC10.com:

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