Watch Philly Cops Drag Man Off Bus For Not Wearing a Face Mask in Public

A viral video circulating online on Friday shows 10 Philadelphia police officers pulling a man off of a public Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) bus for not wearing a face mask. The man reportedly received no legal citation nor an arrest.

The video illustrates a consequence of SEPTA's new policies developed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Along with shutting down half of its bus, trolley and subway routes, SEPTA is also requiring passengers to follow guidelines issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) telling all Americans to wear cloth masks or other facial coverings when out in public.

According to the public radio station WHYY, the incident began after police received several 911 calls about a non-masked man who refused to leave the bus despite being repeatedly asked by the bus driver. The bus then remained stationary until officers arrived.

"[Officers] ordered the male to leave the bus several times. The male refused, at which point he was physically removed by the officers," the Philadelphia Police Department told the radio station.

The first of two videos circulating on Twitter shows an officer telling riders aboard a bus, "If you do not have a mask, you cannot ride public transportation." The officer then tells several men at the rear of the bus, "Sir! Sir! You have to get off the bus. You have to get off the bus. Sir! Sir!"

The officer then confronts a passenger standing in the rear section, "You have to get off the bus, man. I'm going to have the cops take you off. One or the other. You have to get off. You have to get off. You have to get off. Let's go."

"I have to get off?" the passenger asks while covering his nose and mouth with the hoodie he's wearing.

"Yes sir, you don't have no mask. Let's go." The officer then points to a man on the back of the bus. "Let's go, you got to get off. Let's go," the officer tells him.

septa bus
A viral video circulating online on Friday shows 10 Philadelphia police officers pulling a man off of a public Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) bus for not wearing a face mask. William Thomas Cain/Getty

In the second video, an officer's voice mentions a "taser" while two uniformed officers pull a man off of a bus, trying to wrench his body from the vehicle while he resists. As they struggle to pull him through the side door, several police officers congregate outside.

After an officer aboard the bus yells, "Let go!" to the man, the man yells, "What the f*ck am I holding onto? Look, why the f*ck you're pulling me, dumbass?"

As one officer pulls the man off the bus by his right leg, the man shouts, "Get the f*ck off me. Get the f*ck off my f*cking leg." While being pulled off the bus, his bag and cell phone drop onto the sidewalk.

Now outside the bus, several uniformed officers approach as the passenger gets pulled towards the bus's rear. The man repeatedly says, "Get off me," and pushes the officers away. Then, he angrily goes to retrieve his bag. Someone tosses his cell phone towards him—it lands onto the pavement screen down. He picks it up.

Pointing towards the rear door, an officer tells the driver, "Close this door," and a woman on the bus shouts, "Thank you!" to the officers.

As the man says dials and places his phone to his ear, he says, "I want all y'all's f*ckin badge numbers too."

do riders know that they might be pulled off a SEPTA bus by 10 cops for not having a mask? pic.twitter.com/NnHXJC02E8

— Philly Transit Riders Union (@phillyTRU) April 10, 2020

"SEPTA yesterday started requiring customers to wear facial coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. That policy will no longer be enforced.... While SEPTA urges riders to cover their faces, those who refuse will not be barred entry to the system," a SEPTA spokesperson told Newsweek.

SEPTA added that the incident involving the passenger being removed from the bus is still under investigation.

According to the municipal government, Philadelphia has had 5,793 confirmed coronavirus cases and 137 deaths. The radio station reports more than 130 SEPTA employees have tested positive for coronavirus and at least three have died.

"The covering can be as simple as a shirt, bandana or anything else someone can grab at home before they head out," said Andrew Busch, SEPTA's Chief Press Officer told the radio station. "At a minimum, these masks and facial coverings could help keep the person wearing them from spreading germs, and if everyone wears them, we would have a great deal of added protection."