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Arrest reported amid search in transit platform teen assault

Transit officials who sought help from the public Wednesday following the alleged sexual assault of a teenager at gunpoint on a transit platform near Philadelphia’s City Hall reported a possible suspect in custody on a firearms charge.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said a man believed to be in his 20s approached a 17-year-old girl from behind on the platform of the City Hall station at about 10 p.m. Tuesday, drew a gun from his waistband and assaulted the victim before fleeing.

SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel released surveillance video of the suspect and told reporters that he is “the #1 most wanted person at SEPTA right now.”

“This is an unusual event for us,” he said. “This is horrifying. We want to catch this person. ... What he did was vile. ”

On Wednesday evening, a SEPTA spokeswoman said a man matching the description of the suspect was spotted at the 69th Street station in Upper Darby just outside Philadelphia.

The man was found in possession of a firearm and was taken into custody on a firearms-related charge, and investigators were trying to determine whether he was the suspect being sought in the alleged assault, SEPTA spokeswoman Kristin Mestre-Velez said.

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