What to Know
- A transit worker was setting up a work zone for his crew when he was attacked by ten teenagers at SEPTA's 15th Street Station in Center City.
- The attack prompted Brown to call for SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel to resign, claiming he can’t keep workers or riders safe.
- During a press conference, Nestel made it clear he wasn't resigning but acknowledged that officers needed more help.
Surveillance video shows a mob of teens attacking a SEPTA worker, prompting the Transit Workers Union to call for the resignation of SEPTA's Police Chief, citing safety concerns.
The incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. Monday at SEPTA’s 15th Street Station in Center City. A transit worker was setting up a work zone for his crew when he was attacked by ten teenagers.
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“There was no words passed,” TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown said. “There was no reason. They just attacked him and it’s sometimes almost like they get points or they have this game going where they just jump on somebody.”
The worker is recovering. But the attack prompted Brown to call for SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel to resign, claiming he can’t keep workers or riders safe.
“We have lost control of the subway system,” Brown said. “I think it’s the leadership of the police department. I don’t think he has confidence in his own police force.”
During a news conference Thursday, Nestel condemned the attack, calling it “outrageous behavior.” He also made it clear that he won’t be resigning. With crime in the SEPTA system rising this year, Nestel also acknowledged his officers need help.
"We're certainly taking measures to try to address that," Nestel said. "Over the past month, discussions have been ongoing about contracting with a security guard firm to put guards on some platforms to maintain visibility and to serve as observation and reporting posts."
In addition to potentially adding 60 unarmed guards, Nestel defended a police policy of identifying suspects but waiting to arrest until a fuller case is made.
“It is not catch and release. It is delayed arrest processing,” Nestel said. “You know, I don’t want the public to think we’re catching people and giving them a hug and saying, ‘Hey, you know, be on your way.”
Frequent SEPTA riders like Darla Cobb of Southwest Philadelphia want solutions.
“It’s terrible down here. It’s dangerous down here,” Cobb said. “Unbelievable and I’m scared for my life, because that could be me.”
No arrests have been made in the attack. Officials continue to investigate.