SEPTA riders help cop in 'life-or-death' battle

Posted: March 19, 2014

RON JONES could've bet the house on one thing while he bided his time in the underground subway station: Trouble was headed his way.

Jones, a SEPTA police officer, heard a radio call just before 3 p.m. yesterday about a man armed with a gun boarding a Broad Street Line subway car at Spring Garden Street, SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel said.

Once on board, the man allegedly tried to steal a woman's baby, Nestel said.

Jones waited at the next stop, Fairmount Avenue. When the train arrived, the man emerged - and charged the transit cop.

"It was without a doubt a life-or-death battle," Nestel said. "The guy has a good 100 pounds on the cop. He takes the cop down three times."

Nestel said Jones tried using pepper spray and a baton to subdue the suspect. Nothing seemed to slow down the irate man, who continued to fight the officer.

Scores of passengers watched the two men exchange punches. Some shouted at Jones to shoot the man, Nestel said.

Jones eventually called out for help. Two passengers ran to his aid and helped the cop pin his attacker.

"Even with them on him, he got back up again," Nestel said. "It was like a bad horror movie."

Backup officers soon arrived and helped Jones lock up the brawler, whose name was not immediately released.

Jones suffered cuts and bruises. The man who attacked him was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital, with facial cuts.

"Ron Jones did a fabulous job. He kept on getting back up," Nestel said. "I just can't say enough thanks to the people who were willing to help him."

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