Police arrest suspect in hammer attack

September 10, 2008 1:18:02 AM PDT
The prime suspect in the attack was being treated at a mental health facility.

Police say they have arrested the man who beat a young man with a hammer last week on a Septa train.

The suspect was transported from the Belmont Center, a mental health facility, to Central detectives, about 11:20 on Tuesday night.

Police have not yet released his name.

Click "WEB EXTRA: Surveillance video of attack."

Investigators say the surveillance video that 6abc showed helped lead police to the man. "Because you showed the video, which we really thank you for, we've gotten a lot of phone calls," said Capt. Sharon Seaborough of the Philadelphia police. "We've gotten phone calls from people who know this individual."

20-year-old Dewayne Taylor says it was 12:15 a.m. last Thursday that he boarded a SEPTA North Broad Street line when he dozed off.

The video shows the assailant telling a young boy to sit down.

He then pulls a hammer out of a bookbag and proceeds to pummel the victim.

After striking him a number of times with a hammer, the attacker pulls Taylor down on the floor and beats him some more.

Then he throws him off the train where they struggle and disappear off-camera.

According to the victim, the man continued to assault him and tried throwing him into the track area.

The victim escaped with head injuries and two broken fingers. It is the first attack captured on tape since SEPTA began installing cameras on its system last spring.

"The message should go out to evil doers, if you do it on the SEPTA system, you re going to be seen and arrested, and this is the case in point," said SEPTA spokesman Rich Maloney.

SEPTA says it has 10 cameras on each of 36 train cars. They expect to have the entire system wired with cameras by next spring.

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