A man thought to be mentally ill has been arrested for attacking a young Philadelphia woman and throwing her onto subway tracks at a station in the city’s Chinatown area on Tuesday. Authorities say 37-year-old William Clark was taken into custody Thursday thanks to his distinctive Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resorts jacket. The jacket matches the one the suspect was wearing in surveillance footage.
Details about the attack, including the Taj Mahal jacket, were held back by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority until Thursday because police felt that withholding the information would aid them in catching the suspect. "That was our best lead. That was the most likely item that was going to help us solve this,” SEPTA police chief Thomas Nestel said of the jacket.
Clark, who is believed to be homeless, is being held on multiple charges including assault, robbery and reckless endangerment. The motive for the attack remains unclear.
Surveillance footage of the attack shows a man approaching a woman at the Eighth and Race streets stop around 3:30 p.m. They were the only people present. The man grabs the 23-year-old woman by the neck and punches her before dragging her off of a bench by her feet. He drags her to the edge of the platform and shoves her off. The suspect steals her cell phone and leaves the area. The victim was able to climb back onto the platform. She sustained minor cuts and bruises.
Last month in New York City a similar “subway push” attack resulted in the death of a 58-yeear-old man and the arrest of a mentally ill homeless man. Police said Naeem Davis, 30, shoved Ki-Suck Han in front of an oncoming train at the 49th Street subway station. Han attempted to climb back onto the platform, but the train hit him and he became wedged between the platform and the train. Davis was charged with second degree murder and depraved indifference after he made statements that implicated him in the horrific crime.
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