Southern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority General Manager Leslie Richards (middle) speaks during a news conference following a brutal rape over the weekend (Picture: AP)
A homeless man allegedly raped a woman on a transit train just outside of Philadelphia, as passengers failed to stop the attack or call police.
Some riders even appeared to take video of the attack last week, yet never intervened, police said.
The man harassed the victim for more than 40 minutes. More than two dozen train stops passed as he harassed, groped and eventually raped the woman, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Police Chief Thomas Nestel said at a news conference on Monday.
Police do not believe a single witness on the train dialed 911, and are also investigating whether some bystanders filmed the attack.
‘What we want is everyone to be angry and disgusted and to be resolute about making the system safer,’ Nestel said.
The man and woman both got on the train at the same stop on Wednesday night in North Philadelphia. Officers responded within three minutes of a 911 call from a transportation authority employee, and pulled the man off the woman at the last stop.
The man, Fiston Ngoy, 35, was charged with rape and related offenses.
The affidavit of Ngoy’s arrest detailed times of the assault, which lasted more than 40 minutes. Authorities have not released the surveillance footage.
Officers responded to the only 911 call regarding the assault within three minutes (Picture: FOX29)
It’s also unclear how many passengers were in the vicinity during this time and witnessed the assault.
‘I can tell you that people were holding their phone up in the direction of this woman being attacked,’ Nestel said.
Upper Darby Police Department Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said the footage showed other riders were on the train and that someone ‘should have done something’.
The passengers who recorded the attack and failed to intervene could possibly be charged, but it would be up to the Delaware County District Attorney’s office, Bernhardt told The New York Times.
The Southern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority urged passengers to report any type of assault they may see on the trains to authorities immediately (Picture: FOX29)
An off-duty transit employee was the first and likely only person to call police, saying that ‘something wasn’t right’.
The Southern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) later issued a statement, calling the attack a ‘horrendous criminal act’ and urged people to report such instances to authorities immediately.
‘There were other people on the train who witnessed this horrific act, and it may have been stopped sooner if a rider called 911,’ the statement read.
Ngoy told police that he knew the victim, but that he couldn’t remember her name. He told authorities she consented.
The woman told police his version of events was false, and ignored her pleas for him to leave her alone.
Ngoy, who listed his last address as a homeless shelter, remains in custody on an $180,000 bail. His initial court appearance is scheduled for October 25.
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