The Philadelphia Inquirer
A woman was raped on the Market- Frankford Line on Wednesday night in a car with other passengers but none called 911.
Their failure to do that was noted by SEPTA in an unusual statement — and condemned by the police chief in Upper Darby, where the attack took place.
“There was a lot of people in my opinion that should have intervened, somebody should have done something,” Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said. “It speaks to where we are in society and who would allow something like that to take place. So it’s troubling.”
In the statement Friday, the SEPTA agency said that “anyone witnessing an emergency” needed to report it immediately.
“The assault was observed by a SEPTA employee, who called 911, enabling SEPTA officers to respond immediately and apprehend the suspect in the act,” the agency 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.”
The attack occurred around 10 p.m. as the train headed west toward Upper Darby, according to Bernhardt.
The suspect, Fishton Ngoy, 35, is being held in Delaware County Prison charged with rape, indecent assault, and other crimes. Bail has been set at 10% of $180,000. Ngoy is believed to be homeless, police said.
Bernhardt said the assault was caught entirely on surveillance video. Bernhardt said they are reviewing the footage, in part to look at the passengers.
The chief said it was uncertain whether other passengers watched the assault and ignored it or if they feared to intervene.
“There were other people on the El,” Bernhardt said.
According to court records, Ngoy was convicted of drug possession in a 2015 arrest in Delaware County and was arrested again in 2020 and earlier this year in Philadelphia and Delaware County on charges that included public drunkenness, resisting arrest, and scalping tickets.
In the most recent arrest, on the scalping charge, he is being represented by the Philadelphia Defender Association, which provides lawyers for people too poor to hire one.
The records say he had used an alias of Fiston Mukombola.
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