A teenage boy was arrested after he allegedly attacked police officers, led them on a foot chase through a SEPTA station and then jumped from one moving train to another.
The ordeal, which Transit Police Inspector Stephen Harold called the “most bizarre” he’s ever seen, occurred Monday around 3:30 p.m. at the Erie-Torresdale station.
The 16-year-old boy and other students arrived at the station following dismissal from a nearby school. Harold told NBC10 the teen tried several times to swipe his student transpass at the turnstile but was repeatedly denied access.
Frustrated, the teen approached the cashier who told him he had already used the pass and it was coming up as invalid due to a security measure that prevents theft.
Harold says the teen then began to curse at the cashier and threatened to assault him. That’s when two nearby police officers got involved.
“They intervened on behalf of the student advising him that they’d help him out but to calm down, move aside and let the other passengers through while they talk to the cashier,” Harold said.
Harold says the teen refused and then started cursing at the officers who tried to move him away from the area. That’s when the teen allegedly began to attack and wrestle the officers. After a brief scuffle, the teen managed to slip out of their grasps, jump over the turnstile and run up a stairway that crossed over onto the eastbound platform.
The teen then ran onto a train as the officers chased after him. As the officers approached, the teen allegedly went between two train cars and then climbed on top of the train.
“While on top of the train the officers tried to talk him down,” Harold said. “Several females on the other side were also trying to tell him to get down and think about his own safety.”
As the teen stood on top of the train, a westbound train coming from Center City pulled into the station.
The engineer of the westbound train spotted the teen and slowed down as it arrived. Harold says the teen then jumped from the top of the eastbound train onto the roof of the westbound train. As the officers approached, the teen then allegedly jumped back onto the platform and tried to pull the engineer cab window open.
The teen then ran back up a stairway and back onto the eastbound platform towards an exit area.
“From there the officers trapped him into the exit only stairway from the street,” Harold said. “So he jumps over the hand railing. There’s about a 15 foot space between the flooring and where the individual is.”
Harold says the teen finally gave up as he was hanging on the railing. Police were able to get him down and apprehend him.
“Obviously he has mental health issues,” Harold said. “This is a bizarre incident. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Aside from a few scrapes on the officers who wrestled the teen, Harold says no one was hurt in the incident.
The teen was arrested and charged as a juvenile with assaulting a police officer, interfering with the operation of mass transit and other related offenses.