Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 13, 2024
Philadelphia Man Charged in Assault on Autistic Public Transit Rider, Community Tips Lead to ArrestSource: Kryp, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Following a violent episode aboard a SEPTA train in Philadelphia that left a 25-year-old man with autism injured, authorities have made an arrest. Sieed Thomas, a 31-year-old Philadelphia resident, faces charges after he was picked up by the police for an assault on Isaiah Miller, NBC Philadelphia reports. The incident which occurred on March 14, around 8:39 p.m., and caught on the transit system's surveillance video led to an outpouring of tips from the public that assisted the police in identifying the assailant.

Beth Miller, Isaiah's mother, expressed her shock and dismay to reporters, "Seeing the video, it made it worse than I could ever imagine. I’ve never seen someone attack someone like that in my life and I’m 50 years old," Isaiah, who was targeted after a brief interaction with a few women on the train recounted that Thomas accused him of "creeping out the girls," a sentiment he disagreed with, NBC Philadelphia detailed. During the altercation a Good Samaritan intervened, pulling the attacker off Isaiah, who sustained facial injuries as a result of the attack.

FOX 29 News confirmed that the surveillance footage played a pivotal role in the capture of Thomas, shedding light on the troubling events that unfolded on the Broad Street Line train. The police have expressed gratitude to the community for their cooperation and critical tips that aided in the swift arrest of Thomas.

In an interview with Action News, Beth Miller expounded on her determination to find justice for her son, "If you give up, nothing is going to happen. But if you continue to plug away at it and keep yourself out there, keep the story out there, it's only going to eventually bring that person in and start that process for justice," as the Mother's Day week brought two significant milestones: Isaiah's graduation from Temple University and the arrest of his assailant offering a bittersweet respite, "It's the best gift I never knew I wanted or needed," she said, marking the beginning of their healing journey.