Friday, June 04, 2004


An 18-year-old woman was the victim of a sexual attack at a SEPTA station last week. Danielle D'Agostino of Philadelphia was allegedly fondled by a 31-year-old man on the Broad Street Line platform at Olney Terminal. According to an account she gave to CBS 3:

D'Agostino described what happened just before 4:30 p.m. last Friday at the city’s busy Broad and Olney station while she walked with a friend and her 11-month-old child: “He is chasing me but in a walking way. He is walking towards me and I am walking away.”

Showing her a pocket-knife she says the suspect groped her and said: "I am going to stab you in your f-ing throat." "Thank God she [her friend] was pushing the baby because I would not know what to do," she said.

D'Agostino says no one helped her recalling that she had to walk past the same group of men at least five times until a train operator finally contacted police.

With guns drawn police took 31-year-old David Holey into custody. He is charged with a number of crimes related to this incident and police say he may be connected to other crimes.

Commuters expressed shock upon hearing of the attack.

Zarinah Hayes of Germantown relies on the station daily: "I just normally get off before it gets dark. I’m not out here at night. That’s why it is surprising it happened during the daytime."

Pam Henderson, also of Germantown said her family frequently uses the station: "I have a niece that works late and when she and my daughter are up here I tell her to carry your cell phone and call me and we’ll talk until you get home."

Before anyone expects me to praise SEPTA's "rent-a-cops" for taking Holey off the streets, understand that THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO DO THAT! It's not like they arrested Osama Bin Laden or anyone like that (of course, they'd probably botch that up too). That said, observations in the past have indicated that while there are often several officers at Broad and Olney immediately after Central and Girls high schools let out for the day, I've heard reports that there are few "rent-a-cops" in the area during the traditional PM peak period. And the "rent-a-cops" who are there are usually above ground, not underground.

Ms. D'Agostino was certainly lucky, despite the lack of help from other commuters.

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