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Suspect Sought For Attacking SEPTA Trolley Operator

By Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- SEPTA and Springfield, Delaware County Police are asking the public's help catching an attacker they say punched a SEPTA 101 trolley operator in a sudden, unprovoked assault aboard the trolley last Thursday night around 10:30 p.m. near the Springfield Mall stop.

Surveillance video, released by police, shows the passenger suddenly punching the unsuspecting operator, who was not seriously hurt, as he exits the trolley and runs up a nearby ramp.

"After he slept through his stop, he wanted to get off in the middle of the road." Springfield Township Detective James Devaney told Eyewitness News. "The driver wouldn't do so and told him he could get off at the next approved stop."

The video shows the driver putting his hands on his face where he had just been punched.

"The average person would just simply say 'hey I slept through my stop, I'll cross the street and get on the next trolley going back.'"stated SEPTA Police Captain Daryl Jones. "Instead they get irate and every once in a blue moon, they assault our operators."

The captain added that although he's still on the loose, the suspect was caught on camera and with nearly 100 percent video surveillance on its vehicles, anyone assaulting an employee will be spotted and eventually apprehended.

"If our operators are assaulted verbally or physically, we take this very seriously," Captain Jones emphasized.

Springfield Police ask anyone with information to call them at 610-544-5503.

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