(Trends Wide) — A man was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman on a SEPTA (Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) train in Philadelphia last week, even when multiple witnesses did not stop the incident or call police, authorities said.
The alleged violation occurred on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford line last Wednesday night and was a “heinous criminal act,” SEPTA said in a statement. The public transport authority said other people on the train saw the incident and did not alert authorities.
“There were other people on the train who witnessed this horrible act, and it could have stopped earlier if a passenger had called 911,” SEPTA said. “SEPTA urges anyone who observes the commission of a crime or any dangerous situation that occurs to report it. Anyone who witnesses an emergency should immediately call 911.”
SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said an employee who was in the vicinity of the incident as the train passed by called police to report that “something was wrong.”
“The SEPTA employee got on the train and saw that the assault was taking place and immediately called 911. That prompted an immediate response from the SEPTA Transit Police, and an officer boarded the train when it arrived at the 69th Street Transportation Center “Busch said in a statement. “The officer located the suspect and the victim, and took the suspect into custody.”
Upper Darby Township Police took up the case because it has a Special Victims Unit, he said.
The suspect was identified as Fiston M. Ngoy, 35, who had a preliminary appearance last Thursday on charges of rape, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and more, according to court documents.
Ngoy is being held at the Delaware County Jail on a 10% bond of $ 180,000 and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for next Monday, the documents say. Trends Wide has not been able to reach Ngoy for comment.
Upper Darby Police Superintendent Tim Bernhardt said the suspect did not know the victim and praised her for reporting, according to Trends Wide affiliate WPVI.
“An incredibly strong woman. She really is. She came forward, provided a lot of information. She is on the mend and hopefully she will get over this,” she told WPVI.
The entire incident was captured on surveillance video, and Bernhardt said investigators plan to review the video to understand how the incident happened, as well as what other passengers on board SEPTA were doing.
“There were a lot of people, in my opinion, who should have stepped in. Someone should have done something,” Bernhardt said.
– Trends Wide’s Sahar Akbarzai contributed to this report.