PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – SEPTA Police are searching for a suspect caught on surveillance after a train struck several items that were allegedly intentionally placed on the track.
On Sunday, March 16 around 4:25 a.m., officials say a Broad Street Line SEPTA train traveling southbound between North Philadelphia Station and Susquehanna/Dauphin Station struck several items lying on the track.
The train was headed to Walnut-Locust Station to begin daily service and was fortunately not carrying any passengers. There were no damages to the train or injuries to SEPTA personnel.
An investigation determine the items on the track were a metal barrel and several bags of track clips. These had been stored away from the track area and appeared to have been intentionally placed on the track.
SEPTA rider Peter Usilton comments, “The recent announcements make me think there’s maybe more going on that I don’t know about.”
A review of SEPTA surveillance captured around 2:55 a.m. revealed a white male or light-complected Hispanic or black male entering the Susquehanna/Dauphin Station southbound platform from the track area. That man was also captured on video coming up from the track area at Cecil B. Moore Station and Girard Station during an approximately one-hour period.
The suspect is described as in his late 20s or early 30s and about 5’9” and 180 lbs. He was wearing a distinctive dark blue/black letterman style jacket with gray sleeves and an insignia on the chest (possibly the letter ‘L’) and on the back may have been the letter ‘A’.
While the suspect’s intentions remain unclear, SEPTA police say he could have put others in harm’s way or put himself in danger.
Another SEPTA rider, Mister Frisby, says, “I’m a frequent SEPTA traveler, I travel mostly on the orange line and on the el, so that’s pretty disturbing to hear that debris was on the track and that people could have been harmed.”
SEPTA released a statement Monday afternoon reading: Although the intentions of this individual are unknown, his actions could have placed others in harm’s way and
in that the power source for the train – the third rail – was live, due to his risky behavior this individual also placed himself in danger.
Anyone with information on the incident should call 215-580-8111.