Woman Allegedly Assaulted by 12- and 13-Year-Old After Bumping Into Them on Train

An Asian American woman was allegedly assaulted by a 12- and 13-year old after bumping into them on the Market-Frankford Line train Tuesday evening, Philadelphia transit officials said.

The woman, who is 27 years old, boarded the train along with the two adolescents about 6:40 p.m. at 15th Street, a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority police report said.

When the car lurched a few stops after, the young people bumped into the woman. She then pushed the juveniles off her and an argument ensued. During the argument, each adolescent struck the woman in the face, according to the Associated Press.

No racial slur was used and no threats were made to the woman's life, she said to SEPTA police. The woman sustained a cut on her lip and a possible scratch on her eye, police said. They also said her glasses were broken as well. The woman refused medical treatment at the SEPTA station.

The two adolescents were charged with simple assault, SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said.

The assault is only the latest in a series of violent attacks on SEPTA transportation, the AP reported.

The incident happened hours after a rally against Asian American hate stemming from an attack on the train on November 17 involving four Asian high schoolers. Authorities have called the attack racially motivated, while SEPTA officials remain unsure if this latest incident was.

The attack on the four Asian high schoolers was documented in a video shared on social media, in which, the AP reports, four Black teenagers are seen calling three Asian American students slurs. Christina Lu, the fourth student, got involved and asked the Black teenagers to stop.

The Black teens, ages 13 to 16, pushed Lu's head against the subway door and hit her while she was on the ground.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

SEPTA, Attacks, Train, Philadelphia
There have been a series of attacks on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's transportation system, raising concerns for safety on the public transportation system. In this photo, passengers boarding a SEPTA train in Philadelphia.

The Black teens were charged with ethnic intimidation and other assault charges.

Lu, an 18-year-old high school senior, spoke at Tuesday's rally and called for unity, saying that regardless of race or other characteristics, all people want "public safety in the city of Brotherly Love."

But with other attacks including a June shooting on a moving train, the rape of a woman within view of other passengers in October that drew international attention and an attempted rape at 69th Street Station in Upper Darby just a few days later in October, community members and transit workers are calling for more measures systemwide to increase safety.

SEPTA officials said the transit authority police department is understaffed by more than 40 officers, but representatives of the officers' union said that is an underestimate because of callouts and other issues that mean some SEPTA districts have single-digit officers on duty during a shift.

Both the officers' union and representatives from the Transport Workers Union Local 234, which represents about 5,000 SEPTA workers, balked at a transit authority move to hire more security guards to monitor stations, saying more armed police who can intervene in violent situations were needed.

Police and SEPTA bus
An Asian American woman was allegedly assaulted by a 12- and 13-year old after bumping into them on the Market-Frankford Line train Tuesday evening. Above, Buses sit idle at SEPTA's (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) Frankford Transportation Center as members of Transport Workers Union Local 234 and United Transportation Union Local 1594 picket during a strike October 31, 2005, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Getty Images