Commuters on a train in Philadelphia reportedly held up their phones to record the rape and assault of a woman instead of calling for help or intervening. Authorities said that the woman was assaulted by a man over two dozen train stops and not one person had called the police.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said the man, who is already now in police custody, harassed, groped, and eventually raped the woman even as passengers went in and out of the train car.

A transport authority employee reportedly witnessed the incident and called 911. Police arrived at the train's last stop three minutes after the call to arrest the man. The perpetrator was later identified as a 35-year-old homeless man named Fiston Ngoy. He has reportedly now been charged with rape and other related offenses.

Arrest records stated that Ngoy had assaulted the women for more than 40 minutes. SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III said the woman had repeatedly pushed Ngoy away. The exact number of witnesses was not disclosed and police also did not release the train's surveillance video.

"What we want is everyone to be angry and disgusted and to be resolute about making the system safer. I can tell you that people were holding their phone up in the direction of this woman being attacked," Nestel said.


Upper Darby Police Department Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt felt dismayed after seeing the surveillance footage. He said that someone on the train "should have done something" but sadly no one had intervened. Police said that not one passenger on the train had called 911.

Bernhardt said they are still tracking down the possible witnesses, including those that may have recorded the incident. He added that the people that recorded and failed to intervene may face changes depending on the assessment of the Delaware County District Attorney's office.

Investigators said the Ngoy and the woman boarded the train from the same stop. Ngoy reportedly then sat next to the woman and began harassing her. The woman then pushed him away repeatedly. The man continued to harass the woman, eventually leading to him raping her about 30 minutes later.

Ngoy is now in police custody on a $180,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 25. SEPTA called the incident a "horrendous criminal act." The agency said it would have been prevented if just one person had called 911.