Authorities said that the sexual assault could have been stopped if a rider had called 911.
After a woman was sexually assaulted aboard a Pennsylvania public transit train on Wednesday night, a 35-year old man is being charged with rape and assault. Riders witnessed the assault but did not respond to it, authorities stated on Friday.
At 11 p.m., the woman was attacked while riding on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA), Market-Frankford line towards Upper Darby.
Andrew Busch, spokesperson for the SEPTA, stated that the assault was witnessed by a SEPTA employee who called 911. This enabled SEPTA officers respond immediately to the call and arrest the suspect in the act.
According to Timothy Bernhardt, Upper Darby Police Superintendent, the man was later identified as Fiston Ngoy, 35, by SEPTA officers.
Bernhardt explained to NBC Philadelphia that surveillance video captured the entire assault and gave investigators sufficient evidence to charge Ngoy for rape or assault.
Bernhardt claims that the video also shows riders who witnessed the attack but did not help the victim.
He said, “It’s troubling.” “I am shocked. I don’t know what to say.” It’s hard to imagine what you saw through your eyes, and what this woman was going though. No one would help her.
Bernhardt said that investigators are currently reviewing the videos to identify who was there and interview witnesses.
Bernhardt said that he spoke with the woman Friday, and that she was doing well after being taken to a hospital for treatment of her injuries following the assault.
Upper Darby police continue to lead the investigation into the rape, with the assistance of SEPTA Transit Police. Investigators also urge anyone who witnessed the attack, to contact authorities.
SEPTA also urges witnesses to contact authorities. Busch stated that the rape on Wednesday night’s Market-Frankford Line by SEPTA (Oct. 13), was a horrific criminal act. “There were others on the train who witnessed this horrible act. It could have been stopped sooner if a rider called 911.”
“SEPTA encourages anyone who sees a crime or dangerous situation being created to immediately report it. He added that anyone who witnesses an emergency should call 911 immediately.