Holy crap. If this doesn’t serve as a reminder to be safe and aware of your surroundings while riding Philadelphia’s subways/buses/trolleys, nothing will. While it seems as though the man’s intentions were not to shoot up the subway and he was serving as a drug dealer, this is still very eye-opening and scary.
Uniformed SEPTA transit police officers were told by a woman departing at City Hall Station that a man later identified as Jermal Ponds was carrying a backpack that appeared to have a gun sticking out of it. The backpack contained a partly disassembled AK-47 assault rifle with a 40 round clip, a .38 caliber revolver with six bullets in the chamber, a 12-inch hunting knife, 25-30 Percocet pills, more than an ounce of marijuana, and and $716 in cash. Fast action by SEPTA police’s “Viper Unit”, which receives anti-terrorism funding from the Office of Homeland Security boarded the northbound Broad Street Line trains at Fairmount Station and arrested the man on site.
This is really disturbing, particularly with how many riders SEPTA averages per day. Certainly there are plenty of “what if” scenarios of things that could have occurred. The SEPTA transit police and the woman who alerted them of the man’s possessions deserve a ton of credit for finding and arresting this scumbag. Whatever his intentions were with the guns and drugs, please remember to be safe on public transit. Do not draw excessive attention to yourself, and make sure you pay attention to your surroundings while sitting/standing there and going from point A to point B. Philadelphia has plenty of black-eyes already in the national media spotlight from people feeling unsafe, the last thing we need is something horrible to happen on one of our modes of public transit.