An incredible act of human indifference to the pain of others took place on a commuter train outside Philadelphia when passengers chose to film a woman being raped instead of helping her or requesting help using their phones.
As reported by pennlive.com, a man harassed the victim for more than 40 minutes while multiple people held up their gadgets to seemingly record the assault without intervening, authorities said.
The police chief for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority revealed at a news conference Monday More than two dozen train stops passed as the man harassed, groped and eventually raped the woman.
Police officers found the situation surprising and disappointing. They cannot believe that only one witness on the train dialed 911.
The man and woman involved in the incident got on the train at the same stop Wednesday night in North Philadelphia. Officers pulled the man off of the woman at the last stop. They responded within about three minutes of a 911 call from a transportation authority employee, authorities said.
🎥🚨 #SEPTA is urging riders to call 911 and use other methods for contacting police following the rape of a woman on a train last Wednesday, Oct. 13. #SEPTAnews @SEPTAPHILLY @SEPTA_SOCIAL @TNestel3 pic.twitter.com/yWD8EDgFNu
— SEPTA Media Relations (@SEPTANews) October 18, 2021
“What we want is everyone to be angry and disgusted and to be resolute about making the system safer,” SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III said at the news conference.
SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III, in an effort to break the numbing effect of the general tendency to replace reactions to life events with vicarious filmic participation urged residents to react like human beings with real feelings. “What we want is everyone to be angry and disgusted and to be resolute about making the system safer.”
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Elevated Chief Officer Chrystalle Hooper demonstrated Monday the emergency call boxes on SEPTA trains and how to properly contact police from their cars.
Arrest records show Fiston Ngoy, 35, was charged with rape and related offenses.
Nestel would not give an approximate number of witnesses, and it was unclear from the affidavit how many passengers were present for those 40 minutes. Authorities have not released the raped woman surveillance video.
“I can tell you that people were holding their phone up in the direction of this woman being attacked,” he said.
Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt, of the Upper Darby Police Department, has said surveillance footage showed other riders were on the train and someone “should have done something.” Messages for Bernhardt were left Monday.