Philadelphia Maintenance Worker Pleads Guilty to Breaking Girl's Nose on SEPTA Trolley

A city maintenance worker pleaded guilty Tuesday to a caught on camera attack on a teenage girl on a SEPTA trolley earlier this year.

Damon Oliver, 40, struck the girl during an argument over a book bag on Jan. 21, police said.

In court Tuesday, the former maintenance worker with the city's Department of Parks and Recreation pleaded guilty to simple assault in exchange for prosecutors withdrawing terroristic threats and reckless endangerment charges.

Judge Glynnis Hill immediately sentenced Oliver -- who has remained behind bars since his arrest a week after the attack -- to nine months, 15 days to 23 months behind bars with credit for time already served.

Earlier, the city suspended Oliver from his job with the intent to fire him, department officials told NBC10.

Oliver was caught on surveillance video punching a 17-year-old girl named Shay in the face after an altercation on SEPTA's Route 17 trolley along Girard Avenue, police said.

The teen suffered a broken nose and her eye was swollen shut.

Police and the girl said Oliver, who was sitting, was upset Shay's book bag hit him during the ride.

NBC10 obtained a copy of an affidavit that shows that police apprehended Oliver after a co-worker identified him as the man in the video.

The co-worker picked Oliver up a few blocks away from where he left the trolley after the assault, according to the affidavit. The co-worker told police Oliver had called him claiming he needed a ride because he was forced to jump off the trolley after a group of high school students attacked him.

A day later, the co-worker saw video of the attack on YouTube and recognized Oliver, according to the affidavit.

Neighbors told NBC10 Oliver has a daughter the same age as the victim.


Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.

1 Dead in Northeast Philly Hit-and-Run

2 Critical in Northeast Philly Double Shooting: Police

"A coward," Oliver's neighbor Sheila Jones said. "That's all I can say. A coward. Any man that touches a girl is a coward."

Contact Us