PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Concerns are growing about security at SEPTA. Police are investigating three recent attacks on riders.
SEPTA officials acknowledged that there were three attacks on Asian victims’ systems in the past week, but there is no indication that they were racially motivated.
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But riders say they are intimidated regardless of age, race or gender.
Police are on the lookout for these three men wanted to attack two youths and a teenager on Septa.
“It’s so humiliating to know that these are boys. It’s so scary because I’m a woman myself. I don’t have anyone to walk with me anywhere,” said Liane Fernandini.
Officials say an Asian man was hit on 11th and Market Streets last Thursday.
On Monday, suspects demanded a phone and password from a 17-year-old girl at Girard Avenue on the Broad Street line. When he refused, one of the accused put his hand around his neck.
Holly Beatty said, “If something happens there really aren’t a lot of septa cops out there, so you have to rely on a button or you have to step in.”
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And on Tuesday an Asian man was slapped in the face on the L on 63rd Street.
“It’s terrible, but right now, we’re at the point where nobody thinks about anyone else’s safety,” Don Baum said.
Council member Helen Jim says public safety needs to be a priority in the city as well as on the transit line.
“I think there is a lot more we can do at the call box. We are in talks with SEPTA about new ambassadors, for example, who can ride the subway,” Jim said.
Council member David Oh tweeted about the poor conditions and lack of security at SEPTA, urging the city to hold funds until SEPTA raises police salaries and fills the shortage of officers.
“Crime data is continuously analyzed so that authorities can be sent to hot spots when problems arise,” Septa said in a statement. SEPTA has also added security and social outreach specialists to aid in these efforts as the Transit Police Department continues to recruit new police officers.
SEPTA is encouraging customers to download the Transit Watch App, where they can send information directly to SEPTA Police.
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Of course, if there is an emergency call 911.