SEPTA Worker Brutally Beaten At Center City Station, Prompting Union To Call For Police Chief's Resignation

Matt Petrillo reports.

Video Transcript

WILLIE BROWN: Horrified. This is happening far too often.

MATT PETRILLO: Just a terrifying scene. A SEPTA worker is violently attacked by a gang. And now SEPTA's Transport Workers Union is calling for SEPTA's police chief to step down. This is Eye Witness News at 6:00, and we are streaming live on CBSN Philly. Good evening, everyone. I'm Ukee Washington.

JESSICA KARTALIJA: And I'm Jessica Kartalija. This video is disturbing, and SEPTA officials say that scenes like this are happening more often. Matt Petrillo is live now with this story. Matt.

MATT PETRILLO: Jess and Ukee, SEPTA officials tell us that transit worker is now recovering after that brutal attack. A warning, that video is difficult to watch.

Security video released by SEPTA's Transit Union Local 234 shows two people in hoodies punching a SEPTA worker before he's knocked to the ground. A group of others then swarm around the 55-year-old victim to join in on the attack.

WILLIE BROWN: When I saw it, I was horrified.

MATT PETRILLO: SEPTA Transit Union officials say the unprovoked attack happened around 11 o'clock Monday night at SEPTA's 15th Street Station under Philadelphia City Hall. Now the union is again calling for SEPTA's police chief to resign.

WILLIE BROWN: I just think that he's in over his head. He's not showing leadership. He not giving us any plans that will show that this is what I plan to do to secure the station or to make your members safe.

MATT PETRILLO: The union initially demanded the chief to step up or step down Monday. That's when SEPTA announced it would be closing this subway station in Kensington due to maintenance. SEPTA's Transit Workers Union said at the time the real reason was because it has become too dangerous. Regardless, SEPTA's top cop insists he's the right person for the job.

THOMAS NESTEL: I will not be resigning.

MATT PETRILLO: At a news conference Thursday, SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel pointed out he's working to improve safety.

THOMAS NESTEL: Over the past month discussions have been ongoing about contracting with a security guard firm to put guards on some platforms to maintain visibility.

MATT PETRILLO: And to that end, SEPTA's union tells us that there are just not enough police officers to keep workers and riders safe. But SEPTA's police chief told us that in the nine years he's been chief, staffing levels are at its highest ever.

Reporting live in Center City, Matt Petrillo, CBS 3 Eyewitness News.

JESSICA KARTALIJA: Matt, thank you.