The District Attorney’s Office on Thursday charged four teen attackers with multiple crimes for what SEPTA Police claim was a racially motivated attack on the Broad Street Line, which was captured on video Wednesday, Philadelphia inquirer reported.
According to Philadelphia inquirer news report, SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel III said that Thursday authorities were able to identify four suspects through the transit system’s network of 28,000 cameras, a slew of public tips, and a parent’s complaint that someone involved in the incident.
Hours long investigation the attack, the District Attorney’s Office charged each of the four teenagers, age range 13 to 16, with aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation, criminal conspiracy, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct, an office spokesperson said. One of the alleged attackers was also charged with robbery for trying to steal one of the victim’s Airpods, News website reported.
According to the transit agency, the attack took place around 3:30 p.m. near the Erie Station on the Broad Street Line while the train was in transit.
In a video, which was later posted on social media, a group of Black girls is seen yelling at a teenager, whom the Philadelphia School District said was a Central High School student.
Police in Philadelphia has charged four teens for an anti-Asian attack on a subway train. A video of the incident that went viral shows a group of Black girls verbally and physically assaulting four Asian-American students pic.twitter.com/60KZBiNigP
— TRT World (@trtworld) November 20, 2021
Nestel said the suspects were yelling at a total of three teenagers, all Asian students from Central, when a fourth teen stepped in to defend her peers.
“She was a hero, she stepped up and told the girls to stop,” said Nestel of the fourth Central teen who intervened. She suffered no serious injuries. “Then she became a target.”
According to the School District, Central High School principal Tim McKenna met with parents and community members to address concerns on Thursday morning. Representatives from the Office of Student Support have also been made available to students feeling anxious because of the incident.
Philadelphia school officials say School District police are working with the Philadelphia Police, SEPTA’s transit police, and the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission, which helps investigate incidents of racial conflict.