Reporting Walt Hunter
By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Video played for the first time ever in court–and obtained by CBS3–shows frightening footage of a rider on SEPTA’s Broad Street subway line allegedly being thrown in front of an oncoming train at the Walnut-Locust Station in Center City last Memorial Day.
The alleged victim, Courtney Wilcox, who spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News, told jurors that Alex Ayala suddenly pushed her from behind while was standing inches from the edge of the platform as her train roared into the station.
Wilcox told CBS 3′s Walt Hunter that she is sure she would have died if she didn’t grab onto the suspect’s backpack at the last possible moment. The teenager and her sister-in-law were taking the train to return to their South Philadelphia homes following a holiday shopping trip in Center City.
The attorney for Ayala, who has a history of 35 arrests, says the homeless man, who is seen on the same video begging a sandwich from another rider, was merely panhandling, not trying to push Ms. Wilcox.
Wilcox says she isn’t buying the defense and wants the suspect “put in jail forever.”
The jury will deliberate Ayala’s fate on aggravated assault and attempted murder charges on Friday. Wilcox vows she will be there when the jury makes its decision, but, she explains, she won’t be taking the subway to get to the courtroom. She says she’s too afraid to ever ride it again.