Passengers stood by and watched as a suspect raped a female passenger on a Philadelphia-area train, according to reports, and did nothing to stop the heinous act.
According to a Sunday report from the New York Times, the alleged attack took place on Wednesday night when a male suspect approached a female passenger on a train and was reported to have touched her several times.
Though the woman reportedly attempted to stop the man from touching her, he tore off her clothing and raped her on the train, officials said. The alleged assault, according to reports, played out over a period of eight minutes.
The purported attack took place on a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority train on the Market-Frankfort line, a spokesperson for SEPTA told the outlet, calling the incident a "horrendous criminal act."
One of its employees, the transit authority spokesperson noted, immediately phoned authorities to report the crime.
“The assault was observed by a SEPTA employee, who called 911, enabling SEPTA officers to respond immediately and apprehend the suspect in the act," a portion of the statement read. "There were other people on the train who witnessed this horrific act, and it may have been stopped sooner if a rider called 911."
Upper Darby Township police arrested the suspect — 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy, a homeless man — on charges of aggravated indecent assault without consent and rape and sexual assault. He is being held in the Delaware County Jail in lieu of $180,009 bail and did not have a lawyer as of Sunday afternoon, the outlet reported.
In a statement on the incident, Timothy Bernhardt, superintendent of the Upper Darby Township Police Department, said that there were enough passengers present to stop the incident from taking place.
Bernhardt added that anyone on the train who failed to intervene could be criminally charged in connection with the incident if they recorded the attack.
Upper Darby Township Police are working with the SEPTA Transit Police on the investigation.
“I'm appalled by those who did nothing to help this woman," Bernhardt said. “Anybody that was on that train has to look in the mirror and ask why they didn't intervene or why they didn't do something."
The unnamed victim was transported to a local hospital. She is expected to recover.
Bernhardt added, "What this woman endured at the hands of this guy, what she's been able to provide for us, it's been unbelievable."