Police arrested a SEPTA Revenue Agent who they say was captured on video punching a rider inside a SEPTA station.
The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. Monday inside the Frankford Transportation Center. Video shows the SEPTA Revenue Agent punching a man and knocking him to the ground. It does not show what led to the incident or the aftermath however. A SEPTA spokesperson said a verbal argument over payment occurred between the two men prior to the punch.
Officials said the Revenue Agent was arrested by a SEPTA Transit Police Officer and placed on administrative duty. No charges have been filed as they continue to investigate.
Transportation and Transit
“Anybody that decides to commit a criminal act on SEPTA, we have cameras everywhere. We will capture what you do and you will be arrested if you commit a criminal act,” SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel said.
SEPTA Revenue Agents collect money from fare kiosks and cashier booths. While they are not part of the SEPTA Transit Police Department, they are authorized to carry firearms due to the nature of their jobs.
“What they do is similar to an armored guard who takes money to-and-from banks, so they have the training and resources necessary to carry out these duties in a safe and secure manner,” a SEPTA spokesperson told NBC10.
SEPTA is also investigating an incident on September 14 in which a fight broke out between teens at the Dilworth Station. Contracted allied security guards were nearby at the time but did not intervene.
Chief Nestel said the security guards acted appropriately and reiterated they are not transit police and are not trained to act as such.
“Allied security, my understanding is, yelled at the kids and notified our transit police who responded,” Chief Nestel said. “That is the protocol.”
All of the people involved in that fight have been identified, according to officials.
Despite the recent violence, a spokesperson said crime at SEPTA stations has declined overall while ridership has increased. Between late 2020 through the Spring of 2021, SEPTA averaged more than 20 robberies and aggravated assaults per month. Those numbers dropped between June and August however, according to SEPTA.
Chief Nestel said anyone committing crimes at a SEPTA station will be held accountable, regardless of who they are.
“We want to make sure that folks who are hired by SEPTA treat people with respect and dignity and that they obey the law,” Chief Nestel said. “And if they don’t, they will be on camera and we will arrest them.”