A night out by two friends ended with one of them attacked — unconscious and bleeding — on a subway car in Philadelphia, after somebody recorded the attack, while one of the attackers yelled a racist, anti-gay slur before punching him in the face.
Police and SEPTA are investigating the brutal beating, which was captured by the cellphone of fellow passenger William Austin as he rode on a SEPTA train with James Taylor, 25, in the early hours of April 12.
(Warning: The content of the video below may be graphic.)
In the grainy cellphone video, Taylor and his friend (whose face is blurred) sit together at a table, but appear to be having a heated discussion. Taylor has his arm around his buddy, while other passengers watch, some with pursed lips.
Then, in the span of a few seconds, the men punch the one of the seat mates in the face. The mugger attempts to get back on the subway before the camera can panned to him.
The mugger then throws Taylor onto the seat — the victim is partly on his stomach — and continues the attack, punching him while he sits down and beating him with the metal round kick.
After the incident, it’s not clear what the two men were arguing about, but one suspect, identified by police as Michael Cox, 20, tried to blame Taylor. He has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, and theft by unlawful taking.
Taylor suffered a concussion, a fractured face, a black eye, cuts to his arms and hands, and a swollen lip, according to ABC 10. The worst part, he said, was his absence from work.
“These are my friends,” Taylor told ABC 10 in a video that appeared on the station’s website Friday. “This is the first time these people have ever put a hurt on me in my life. A week and a half after the incident — I was on my way to work. I have to apologize to my bosses and the city I live in.”
He pleaded for the man who recorded the incident to “release the video so I can see justice done.”
According to police, another man picked up Taylor as he fled the subway after the beating. He is expected to be charged in the attack.
“The video is very disturbing to our entire staff,” SEPTA Police Captain Thomas King told the station. “The SEPTA Police Department will aggressively pursue those responsible. We will not tolerate any behavior like this.”
Taylor expressed doubt that the mugger got away with much.
“I think I got a pretty good look at his face and everything,” he said. “He wasn’t wearing a shirt. I was wearing a shirt.”
But he later told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he didn’t find that convincing.
“I don’t believe him at all,” Taylor said of the mugger. “He was with the guy for a couple seconds, had no arms and legs — he was standing right there.”
Taylor also claimed the camera was pointed toward his face, and he can be seen facing the camera.
SEPTA President Andy Byford told the Philadelphia Inquirer he will review the video in the next few days with his executive staff.
“We take violence and bullying on our trains very seriously,” Byford said. “There have been two assaults in the last two days on the SEPTA system, both of which were caught on surveillance.
“We’re going to look at the video.”
Fox News’ Joshua Rhett Miller contributed to this report.
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