Police believe they have the man who approached a 17-year-old girl from behind, drew a gun then forced a sex act on the girl as she waited on a platform at SEPTA’s City Hall Station Tuesday night.
The teen was on the southbound Broad Street Line platform before 10 p.m. when the man believed to be in his 20s, wearing a hat and hood, drew the gun from his waistband and forced himself on the girl, SEPTA police said.
SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel III called the suspect "the No. 1 most wanted person."
"The summer of a 17-year-old girl is supposed to be spent doing things that are remembered for a lifetime," Nestel said. "This attacker created a nightmare for her."
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After the attack, the suspect fled. The girl quickly called police. Officers responded to the scene a short time later but the suspect was gone, police said.
Surveillance video captured the suspect, described by Philadelphia police as wearing a tan hat, white hoodie with red and blue stripes on the sleeves, gray sweatpants and red sneakers.
On Wednesday evening, a man matching the description of the suspect was spotted at the 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby just outside Philadelphia, SEPTA spokeswoman Kristin Mestre-Velez said.
The man was found in possession of a loaded Glock 9 mm handgun and was taken into custody on a firearms-related charge, Nestel said. Investigators were trying to determine whether he was the suspect being sought in the alleged assault, Mestre-Velez said.
Police called the 23-year-old man a person of interest in the sexual attack. He remained jailed Thursday in Delaware County on the firearms charge.
"We strongly believe, based on what we have, that he is the person," Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said.