Caught on Cam: Man Violently Assaults SEPTA Police Officer - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Caught on Cam: Man Violently Assaults SEPTA Police Officer

Riders hailed for jumping in to help officer during struggle on subway platform



    Caught on Cam: SEPTA Officer Attacked

    Surveillance video shows a transit police officer assaulted by a deranged man. NBC10's George Spencer tracked down one of the brave passengers who jumped in to help. (Published Tuesday, March 18, 2014)

    Riley Ross admits he was frightened when he witnessed a man attack a SEPTA Police officer. But that didn't stop him from running into the chaos to lend a helping hand.

    "I just didn't want anybody to get hurt," said the local attorney. "I got a young son and wanted to see him again for sure."

    The ordeal began around 3 p.m. on a southbound SEPTA train. Investigators say an unidentified man on the train was threatening passengers.

    "Passengers were alerted because there was a man on the train saying that he had a gun and he was threatening to shoot passengers," said Steven Harold, SEPTA's inspector of operations.

    After the train stopped at the Fairmount Station, Ronald Jones, a 5-year veteran with the SEPTA police force, confronted the man and led him off the train and onto the platform.

    That's when, officials say, the man began to attack Jones, grabbing for the officer's gun in the process.

    "My thought was that either the man is going to get shot or the officer is going to get shot," Ross said. "We could all get shot."

    After the suspect fell, Ross and another man rushed to help restrain him as Jones recovered. Investigators say the suspect then got up again, returned to the train and tried to grab the child of another passenger but was unable to do so. More officers then responded to the scene and the suspect was apprehended and taken into custody.

    "It was that kind of mob psychology," Ross said. "I think everybody was waiting for somebody to do something. Once someone jumped in, other people came in and helped."

    Harold thanked Ross and the other passenger for their bravery.

    "The first two passengers that came on were outstanding," Harold said. "We thank you for it."

    The suspect was taken into custody and treated for his injuries at Hahnemann Hospital. SEPTA Police tell NBC10 they don't have a name and identity for the man. They also have not yet revealed the specific charges against him.

    Officer Jones was not seriously hurt during the ordeal. SEPTA Police say however that he lost his badge and cell phone during the fight and are asking anyone who finds the items to return them.