National/World

Man arrested for throwing woman onto SEPTA tracks in Philadelphia

Friday, January 18, 2013
william clark

Police have identified the man charged with attacking a woman in a SEPTA subway - throwing her onto the tracks.

A homeless man facing a long list of charges, including aggravated assault and robbery, for allegedly pushing a woman onto the tracks at SEPTA's Chinatown Station.

The attack happened around 3:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Broad-Ridge Spur Line subway platform at 8th and Race streets.

It was a scary scene when the 23-year-old woman was tossed onto the tracks and the whole thing was caught on camera.

The suspect 36-year-old William Clark is now behind bars.

"It's real crazy. It's ludicrous. I can't understand people and the way they think sometimes," said Anthony Chavez.

Police say Clark was riding south on the train when he got off and switched directions at the Chinatown Station.

In surveillance video, police say Clark is seen approaching the woman who was sitting on a bench.

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When she lends the man a lighter, moments later police say he pushed her, punched her and tossed her by her ankles onto the tracks.

The man seen in the video picks up the woman's cell phone and walks away.

The victim was able to pull herself off the tracks to safety.

"She did exactly the right thing. It was a horrible incident but it turned out well for her," said Chief Thomas Nestel, SEPTA Police.

Police say it's the video showing the suspect's jacket that helped them nab him.

On Thursday, officers picked up Clark heating into a station at 15th and JFK Boulevard. He was wearing the same jacket and carrying the woman's cell phone.

On Friday police tried to make riders feel more comfortable on the train.

"We have a lot of plain-clothes officers but we put them in uniform so they can be more visible during this recovery time for our riders. It really is safe place to get to and from the city," said Chief Nestel.

Meanwhile Clark denies that he had anything to do with the attack. His bail was set at $2 million and he is due back in court on February 5th.

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