By Natasha Brown
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA Police are cracking down on a new problem that’s been at the center of a number of recent complaints.
Some people have actually been breakdancing on city buses and trains.
Eyewitness News reporter Natasha Brown explains why it’s already led to several arrests.
Little space to move in a two and a half foot aisle of a crowded SEPTA train during rush hour, but one group is carving out room to bust a move for money. This video shows one of their spontaneous performances. They call themselves Project Positive, young men dancing on SEPTA trains while passengers either sit by entertained or annoyed. One group not entertained, SEPTA Police.
“At least you can walk away from somebody on a platform or on a street corner. You can can’t walk away when you’re sitting in a train car and when people are flying by doing gymnastic moves. It’s dangerous,” Chief Thomas Nestel of SEPTA Police said.
“They shouldn’t be doing it at all. And normally when they’re doing it, cops are nowhere around. And they get off the stop before the cops actually come. They can get aggressive, but if you ignore them they kind of go away,” a SEPTA passenger said.
“It’s freedom of speech. Why not? It’s just dancing,” another SEPTA passenger said.
You can see the group soliciting for tips which police say is illegal and makes some riders uncomfortable.
“We’ve warned before, we’ve cited before, now we’re taking it up to the next level,” Nestel said.
Damon Holley is part of the group Project Positive and says they meant no harm, although he admits he won’t be dancing on SEPTA trains anymore.
“I know they’re concerned about the safety. I totally understand that issue, but as far as taking it to where we’re threatening people and making people give us money it’s not like that at all,” Holley said.
SEPTA Police have now kicked this up to a misdemeanor offense and they have made two arrests in this case. They say they want this group to promote something positive, just in a safe setting.