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PHILADELPHIA -- A woman escaped with only cuts and bruises after being thrown onto subway tracks during a vicious attack in Philadelphia.
The assailant and the 23-year-old victim were alone at the SEPTA subway station in the city's Chinatown on Tuesday afternoon. After being asked to help light a cigarette, the woman was assaulted, dragged onto the landing and then thrown onto the tracks.
SEPTA Chief of Police Thomas Nestel said the woman was fortunate to walk away with only minor injuries.
"It's horrifying," Nestel added. " When you see that happen, you think the worst. We all know that there is a tremendous electric source. You touch that, you die."
Nestel said he decided to not immediately release the video and culprit's description because the attacker had worn a very distinct jacket and he was confident that was their best lead.
He accepted that was risky approach, but "it's also risky to put that information out. He gets rid of that coat and I lose my best chance to get a dangerous man off the streets."
The suspect was nabbed by a SEPTA officer two days later. Police said he was wearing the same jacket and was carrying the victim's cellphone.
Nestel praised the arresting officer:
Transit Police SGT Nicole Lawson is the hero of the day! She caught the man who beat, robbed and threw a woman onto the tracks. Nice work!— Thomas J. Nestel III (@TNestel3) January 18, 2013