PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – SEPTA Transit Police have arrested a female suspect who was caught on tape randomly attacking a male passenger aboard a SEPTA bus late last month.
Suspect Cassie Darby, of 20th and Oxford Streets in North Philadelphia, was arrested for her alleged role in the attack that occurred on May 31st on a Route 23 SEPTA bus on the 5700 block of Germantown Avenue.
According to investigators, the 49-year-old Darby boarded the bus and sat down for only moments before she got up and walked towards a male rider, 35-year-old Bastiaan Slabbers of Mt. Airy, who was seated near the back of the bus.
The video from the bus shows the suspect punching and slapping Slabbers in the head and face. The video shows several other passengers watching the attack, but no one intervened.
The suspect then exited the bus and ran away on foot. Slabbers suffered minor injuries to his head and face.
“She’s well known to SEPTA,” said Lt. George McClay with the 35th District Special Investigations Unit. “As soon as they (SEPTA) were able to figure out who she was, we were able to get a photo lineup together.”
Eyewitness News caught up with the victim. He says he’s glad he didn’t fight back. “I thought it was wise not to,” said Slabbers. “One thing I can say is I’m okay,” said Slabbers. “It’s a good thing it happened to me and not someone younger or older.”
Slabbers is a freelance news photographer who spends most of his time capturing the images and events in Northwest Philadelphia. He moved here from the Netherlands two years ago. He never expected to end up on the other side of the camera lens, especially for something negative. Now that he has, he surprisingly says he wants to know more about his attacker.
“I want to know what her story is,” said Slabber. “I want to know why,” he insisted. “I think it could be inspiring for everyone to know what triggered it.”
There may not be a reasonable explanation. According to police, Darby has been arrested 32 other times for similar offenses.