Rape, 2 stabbings on SEPTA over the weekend under investigation

Police received reports of a rape that occurred in the area of the 1200 block of North Broad.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022
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Sources said the suspect wanted in connection with the reported rape has been identified by police, but no further information has been released at this time.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The report of a rape on SEPTA's Broad Street Line had commuters on edge Monday.

The violent assault supposedly took place in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, but it wasn't the only police call on the transit system over the weekend.

Two stabbings are also being investigated.

The first reported incident over the weekend happened around 4:30 a.m. Saturday.

Action News is told a 29-year-old man was stabbed in the arm during a confrontation with men inside Suburban Station at 15th and Market streets in Center City.

Those suspects were last seen leaving the area.

The injured man was able to flag down an officer a few blocks away. Medics took him to Jefferson University Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.

The second incident occurred around 12:30 p.m. Sunday and involved a situation where police say someone stabbed a man multiple times at the 34th Street Station on Market Street.

The suspect was taken into custody and the victim is expected to survive.

The third incident occurred a few hours later on the Broad Street Line in North Philadelphia.

Police received reports of a rape that occurred in the area of the 1200 block of North Broad Street between Erie and Girard avenue stations.

Action News has learned the rape victim is acquainted with the suspect.

Sources said the suspect has been identified by police, but no further information has been released at this time.

Following the reports of the attack, a SEPTA spokesperson released the following statement:

"That investigation is with the PPD Special Victims Unit. SEPTA police are reviewing surveillance video from the Broad Street Line to assist. We haven't received anything further on a possible location or other details yet."

Tension around how to combat issues involving attacks on SEPTA passengers and employees continues to escalate.

Last year, transit police union FOP Lodge 109 began openly pushing for new leadership of the transit police department citing a shooting, robbery, beating and stabbings.

SEPTA has since hired dozens of unarmed security guards, but transit police say the agency needs more trained officers.

City Councilman David Oh will introduce a budget amendment to withhold SEPTA's $10-million operating budget until he says the agency commits to hiring more officers and raising salaries for more competitive pay.

In response to Councilman Oh's proposal, SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said officials will testify before City Council regarding the annual budget on May 3.

"We look forward to addressing questions on safety and security on the system," said Busch. "We are actively recruiting for new police officers, and have added new social outreach workers as well as ambassadors to be eyes and ears for police."

Busch added, "SEPTA's top priority is the safety and security of our riders and employees."

There are currently 210 police officers on the force, according to Busch.

"Pre-pandemic, and going back at least 10 years, we averaged approximately 230 officers," Busch said. "The SEPTA Operating Budget includes funding for up to 260 officers, and we are actively recruiting new candidates."