PHILADELPHIA (TUSEN) – Philadelphia police are looking for a man after two sexual assaults on SEPTA’s Broad Street Line. Police say the attacks happened within 15 minutes of each other and were likely by the same person.
“It’s scary and disappointing,” said SEPTA rider Taylor Williams.
The attacks took place on Monday evening. The first attack occurred at about 11:30 p.m. on a train from City Hall to Synder Avenue Station, where a woman reported being groped. The second occurred at approximately 11:45 PM on the platform at the Tasker/Morris stop, where a woman reported being violently kissed after a brief interaction.
“There’s an element of who’s supposed to protect us,” said SEPTA rider Claire Brennan, “and as a woman who travels, there’s always that fear in the back of your mind.”
The police released surveillance images of the suspect on the platforms of the stations. They say he is a man in his early twenties, about six feet tall and thinly built, wearing a sweatshirt with the “Queen” band on the back, black shorts with the Under Armor symbol on the right thigh and black running sneakers.
Police say it is urgent that if you see him, call the police.
“The concern is always that there is escalation,” said Philadelphia Police Department Lieutenant John Hewitt. “That’s an indecent assault at the moment, but it could easily turn into a violent sexual assault. We want to get this man off the street as soon as possible.”
But now riders say they have doubts about using transit.
“I choose not to drive my car because I hate parking, so I’m taking SEPTA,” said SEPTA rider Janet Silverstein. “I’ll have to think about that again.”
TUSEN Philadelphia contacted SEPTA to see if they plan to increase police patrols, but we haven’t heard anything yet.