By A Correspondent- In a shocking incident, a woman was raped on a train near Philadelphia in the US and fellow passengers failed to come to her aid. They did not even bother to dial 911 to call the police.
Some of the passengers are reported to have taken pictures and filmed the brutal attack while others callously preferred to mind their own business.
The assault lasted for about 8 minutes while other passengers did not bother to intervene to stop the attack. The hapless woman was only assisted later on after a female employee of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) raised alarm when she realised what was happening.
NBC Philadelphia reports that the alleged attacker, 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy, was apprehended and charged with several crimes which include rape and aggravated indecent assault. He is being held at the Delaware County jail on $180 000 bail.
The victim, whose identity is being protected, was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Upper Darby Township Police Department Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt, said that a review of surveillance footage shows Ngoy boarding shortly after the woman. He then sits next to her and attempts to chat her up. The footage shows that the exchange became animated and Ngoy gradually got aggressive before eventually ripping her clothes off and assaulting her.
“He sat next to her for a conversation. . . .” Bernhardt said.
“And then he just completely overpowered the woman and forcibly raped her.”
He added that the victim made a positive identification of her attacker and is now working on recovering from the traumatising ordeal.
“I spoke with the victim yesterday, and she is an unbelievably strong woman,” Bernhardt said Saturday.
“I can’t say enough about her, how she was able to identify her attacker, tell us what happened. Now she’s working . . . to get through this.”
SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch bemoaned how fellow passengers had failed to take any action to intervene or to call the authorities.
“If somebody who witnessed this had called 911, it’s possible that we would have been able to intervene even sooner,” Busch said. “Because this had apparently started before the employee who was on board noticed what was going on.”
Bernhardt also expressed shock at how fellow passengers had failed to intervene or to call the authorities and chosen to take pictures and videos instead.
“I’m just speechless. To be a victim of a crime like this and be victimized a second time is absolutely horrible.”
Bernhardt said there are different steps witnesses can take to intervene. People can call 911, alert the train conductor or scream to distract an attacker.
“I don’t know where we are in society that people can’t help other people out in a time of need,” he said. “If you see something horrendous like this horrible incident, you have to do something, you have to intervene. I think that it starts here when we have to definitely go back to some decency, where we help each other out and we look out for each other.”