Philadelphia City Council to hold hearings on SEPTA security procedures

Philadelphia City Council says it will hold hearings on SEPTA’s security procedures after multiple attacks on riders. 

The Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, Curtis Jones, Jr. whose panel is likely to lead the probe told FOX 29: "It’s SEPTA’s responsibility when we pay our fare to assure that the rider gets from Frankford to 69th Street without being attacked."

Edwin Allen, 28, is accused of attacking a woman in Upper Darby’s 69th Street station Wednesday night and sources say he may be linked to other assaults.

While Fiston Ngoy, 35, is charged with the rape of a woman on a westbound Market-Frankford train last week. The entire episode was captured on surveillance video that showed other people on the train at the time, Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt of the Upper Darby Police Department said.

Authorities have said the attack lasted several minutes and other riders on the train did not intervene. 

Instead, authorities have said some of the other passengers held their phones up in the direction of the attack. The Delaware County District Attorney on Thursday refuted that claim, but said there were people filtering off and on the train as the rape occurred. 

 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy is facing multiple charges after authorities say he sexually assaulted a woman on a SEPTA subway car as bystanders stood by.

On Monday, SEPTA’s chief of police argued the agency acted quickly in Ngoy’s arrest.

"In three minutes the police came into contact with that person making an arrest. I think that’s pretty good, Jeff—can we do better, absolutely," Thomas Nestel said.

Critics argue the authority could do much better, especially after it revealed it had identified Allen, and linked him to two earlier attacks of females on SEPTA property, but did not warn the public while it sought a warrant for his arrest.  

SEPTA tells FOX 29 it’s reviewing its public notifications while arguing it’s down 30 police officers and is bleeding a million dollars a day in lost ridership.

Councilman Jones, Jr. said he expected the city council hearing will be expedited while SEPTA said it looks forward to speaking with members about its challenges.




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