Exclusive: Victim of brutal attack on SEPTA bus speaks to Action News

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Philadelphia police released a video Wednesday of an assault on a SEPTA bus: Christie Ileto speaks to the victim on Action News at 11 on November 28, 2018. (AP PHOTO / FILE)

A man who was assaulted in a SEPTA bus last month, which was caught on video, spoke exclusively to Action News on Wednesday about the incident.

The victim, a 34-year-old man on the autism spectrum, did not want to give his name, but said he feels very violated and angry.

He said he was simply trying to help another passenger when, all of a sudden, the suspect came from nowhere and began beating on him.

"This coward thought I was trying to take advantage of his blind friend, which wasn't the case at all," he said.

Too shaken to show his face, the man told Action News he had offered to charge the visually impaired man's cell phone with his portable charger.

They were riding SEPTA's 48 Bus route in Center City when the kind gesture turned violent.

"I asked the blind man to unlock his phone so I could see how much percentage he had on his phone," he said. "I was trying to make sure he had enough juice as he was heading to the El train and then suddenly he gets up in my face."

The man, described as the friend of the visually impaired man, is seen knocking the victim to the ground, straddling him and repeatedly hurling left hooks and punches at the 34-year-old victim, while he is crouched helplessly in the aisle.

Police said the 34-year-old never provoked any escalation of the encounter, which left him with a black eye, bruises and lingering emotional scars.

"I feel violated, angry," he said. "But at the same time, I can't let people like him put me in fear."

The victim said he hasn't let this incident stop him from riding SEPTA, but now he is reluctant to go out of his way to help other people, fearing he could get attacked again.

Anyone with information about the man in the video is asked to contact Philadelphia police.

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philly newsSEPTAattackautismCenter City Philadelphia
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