In a shocking incident, a woman was raped by a stranger this week on a commuter train in suburban Philadelphia. Investigators say the sexual attack happened while others were standing around on the train and "did nothing" to stop the horrendous crime. The other passengers declined to help or even call 911.
The incident happened on a SEPTA El train at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13. The assault occurred as the train headed west toward Upper Darby, according to Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt of the Upper Darby Police Department. It was captured on surveillance video.
Other Riders Looked on and Did Not Intervene
"Were they watching? I don't know. Again, we're still going through the video but there was a lot of people, in my opinion, that should've intervened. Somebody should've done something. It speaks to where we are in society. Who would allow something like that to take place? So it's troubling but again, we're working on that and we're trying to identify anyone that we saw coming on and off the El at that time," Philadelphia's CBS-3 quoted Bernhardt as saying.
Officers arrived at the 69th Street terminal around 10 p.m. that night after an employee of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) called police to report that "something wasn't right" with a female passenger aboard the train, Bernhardt said.
Horrendous Criminal Act
The woman was located by transit authorities waiting at the next stop and was immediately rushed to a hospital. She told the authorities she did not know the attacker. Bernhardt said that the survivor was an "unbelievably strong woman" and provided police with a lot of information. "She's on the mend," Bernhardt said. "Hopefully she will get through this."
SEPTA said in a statement released Friday, October 15. "There were other people on the train who witnessed this horrific act, and it may have been stopped sooner if a rider called 911. SEPTA urges anyone who observes a crime being committed or any dangerous situation occurring to report it."
Who's the Suspect?
The suspect, Fiston Ngoy, 35, has been charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault and related counts, according to Delaware County court records obtained by The Associated Press. He is believed to be a homeless man.
As reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Ngoy was convicted of drug possession in a 2015 arrest in Delaware County. He is facing unresolved charges from 2020 and earlier this year in Philadelphia and Delaware County involving public drunkenness, resisting arrests and scalping tickets.