KENSINGTON (WTXF) - SEPTA released video showing a SEPTA police officer clashing with a man in Kensington early Monday morning. Authorities say the man attacked the officer and the officer fought back with a taser. The accused attacker is dead.
SEPTA police tell FOX 29 there is still a lot to cover in the investigation, but wanted to show us the surveillance video they've recovered and the information they have so far.
The suspect is this man in the gray hoodie in the video. SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel says the officer was escorting the man out of the station because it was 2 a.m. and time to close up. The man went peacefully without problem; however, the SEPTA chief says that when he walked outside he got into a fight with another man on the street. The officer realized that the man he had just escorted out of the station was the alleged instigator.
Authorities say the officer intervened and tried to restrain the suspect. He called for back-up , but in the midst of everything he didn't immediately report his location to dispatchers. It took 8 minutes for back-up to find the SEPTA officer and arrive on scene. During that time, SEPTA says the officer used his taser, the man was then handcuffed and put into a patrol car. According to authorities, at some point while the man was being transported to a local hospital he because unresponsive and was pronounced dead within the hour.
The chief says he will not speculate on the cause of death. He also says the suspect bit the officer during the struggle; he was also a little scuffed up while wrestling with the man who has not yet been identified.
Police tell us the transit officer involved is a 5 year veteran. He has no complaints of excessive force, according to authorities. The Philadelphia Police Department Homicide Unit will handle the potential criminal side of the investigation and SEPTA has launched its own internal affairs investigation.