July 18, 2022
Philadelphia police are investigating a sexual assault that occurred at the Snyder Station platform on the Broad Street Line Monday morning.
Authorities released surveillance photos of the suspect, who they say was armed with a black handgun when he allegedly sexually assaulted an unnamed victim around 4:30.
The suspect is a Black male in his mid-20s. He is approximately 5'6", 160 pounds, and was last seen wearing a grey NASA hoodie, black pants, white sneakers, and a white medical mask, police said. The handgun he was allegedly carrying has a green slide and extended magazine. The suspect fled on a bicycle.
The victim was transported to Philadelphia's Special Victims' Unit, CBS Philly reported.
SEPTA released a statement to 6abc Monday morning, saying the agency is working to increase the visibility of police officers in stations and on platforms. The agency has since declined to comment further, noting that the Special Victims Unit is leading the investigation going forward.
The agency is working with the Fraternal Order of Transit Police on salary increases to hire more officers, and has also been working with social workers in order to assist in housing and medical support services.
Police say not to approach the suspect if identified and to call 911 immediately. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling or texting (215) 686-8477.
Those with any information about the incident or the suspect are encouraged to contact the Special Victims Unit at (215) 685-3251.
SEPTA has been plagued by violent incidents since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to calls from the agency and other city officials for additional actions to be taken to increase security on SEPTA platforms. Most recently, a SEPTA rider fatally shot three young men after they got off buses in West Oak Lane on Friday.
Reports of crimes on SEPTA vehicles have soared by 80% since 2019. Amid an uptick in crime, SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel III abruptly resigned from his position earlier this month.