The authorities are concerned that passengers failed to act while a man raped a woman on a passenger train in Philadelphia on Wednesday. The police in Upper Darby said passengers watched and did nothing as the rapist, later identified as 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy, raped and assaulted the woman aboard the moving train.
The incident occurred around 11 p.m. on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Market-Frankford going to Upper Darby.
A SEPTA employee later observed what was going on and promptly called 911 and police officers were alerted. SEPTA spokesman, Andrew Busch, said police waited ahead of the train and arrested Ngoy when the train came around. This was also confirmed by Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt.
The police said surveillance video captured the assault and rape and that Ngoy will be charged for appropriate offenses. Investigators said there is enough evidence to nail him while wondering why nobody moved a finger to help the woman or alert the authorities.
“It’s disturbing,” Bernhardt said. “I’m shocked, I have no words for it. I just can’t imagine seeing what you were seeing through your own eyes and seeing what this woman was going through that no one would step in and help her.”
The police have called on train passengers who witnessed the assault to step forward to testify, and they are reviewing the video to identify passengers who could be interviewed. Busch said the woman could have been spared if people had risen to her defense, and described the whole affair as a horrendous criminal act.
“The rape that occurred on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line Wednesday night was a horrendous criminal act,” Busch said. “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. Anyone witnessing an emergency should immediately call 911.”
Bernhardt said the woman has been treated in hospital and is in good hands. He revealed that Ngoy was unknown to her. The Delaware County court records indicated that Ngoy has been charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault, and related counts. He has not been able to post bail and remains in jail.