Search for SEPTA subway hammer attacker

CENTER CITY - September 4, 2008 20-year-old Dewayne Taylor says after he left his job as a lab technician at the University of Pennsylvania, he got on the SEPTA North Broad Street Line to head home. He fell asleep listening to his iPod. Instead of waking up from a nightmare, Taylor says he awoke to one: A man punching him; first with his fists -- then the attacker pulled out a hammer.

Taylor says all throughout the attack the man kept chanting something.

Taylor got off the train at Erie Avenue. A woman passenger on the train walked him to Temple Hospital.

Taylor suffered a number of injuries including a severe gash on his head; it required 7 staples. He also suffered a cut on the back of his neck that required stitches. But that wasn't all.

"The hammer hit my fingers and broke my fingers, that's why I got the cast, and I got hit in the head that's how I got the staples," Taylor told Action News.

The attack on Taylor is the latest to happen on SEPTA's subway system. In July, Philadelphia police officers were temporarily deployed to help SEPTA police after three separate attacks on commuters; one of them ending in the death of of /*Sean Conroy*/, a popular manager of a Center City Starbucks.

Taylor's mother is outraged that instead of coming to her son's aid, the SEPTA train operator, allegedly, was more concerned with getting him off the train so he could take the other passengers home. "I'm outraged, but I thank God that he is alive because it could be worse," Tracie Taylor said, "Instead of hitting him with his fists with the first blow, it could have been with the hammer."

A SEPTA spokesman says a SEPTA employee intervened in the attack telling the assailant to stop. The assailant ran off and remains on the loose.

Police are asking people to call who may have been on the train and witnessed what happened.

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