Friday, September 19, 2008

Subway Hammer Attack Caught on Video

A Philadelphia man is attacked on the subway by a hammer wielding man and it is all caught on tape. The attack was unprovoked and appeared completely random.

Thomas Scantling, 26, who was arrested by the Philadelphia police, has been charged with aggravated assault and attempted murder and is allegedly the attacker in the video.

Scantling is riding the subway with his six-year-old son after midnight, when he instructs his son to sit down.

Scantling then removes a hammer from a carry-on bag and allegedly begins to strike a sleeping passenger again and again with the hammer. The blows appear to be brutal, vicious and unrelenting. The attacker clearly means to harm the victim.

As the train rolls to a stop and the exit doors open, the attack moves from the train to the platform with the victim attempting to defend himself.

The first video is a short report on the incident by a Philadelphia TV station and includes raw footage of the attack:

Although several other passengers are aboard the train, none of them make any effort to help the victim. In fact, some of them quickly leave the area.

Police identified the victim as 20-year-old Dewayne Taylor, who was on his way home after work. Taylor made his own way to a local hospital after the attack, was treated for head and neck wounds and released.

Taylor said he did not know his assailant and knew of no reason for the attack.

Scantling’s family had him committed to a mental institution after the attack, and then called authorities identifying him as the attacker.

Scantling has a long criminal history including rape, robbery, assault, and narcotics violations.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey criticized the reaction by the passengers on the train to the assault.

"They better pray they're never a victim, because if someone was attacking them that way they would certainly hope someone would step forward and help, and it starts with stepping forward and doing something yourself," Ramsey said.

The second video is a more in-depth report of the assault by NBC:

See video of the hit-and-run incident referred to in the second video.
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