A Philadelphia mail carrier was assaulted by a group of young males late Thursday as he waited for the subway during his commute home, officials said.
The attack took place at 7:30 p.m. on the Broad Street Line platform at City Hall, according to Sgt. Eric Gripp, a Philadelphia police spokesperson. Charges were pending Saturday. Gripp said that the victim was cooperating with police and that the attackers could face aggravated-assault and robbery charges.
Video of the attack was shared on Facebook after the incident, and quickly spread across social media. In the footage, a group of five males approach the postal worker and pummel him, knocking him to the ground. They continue to hit him after he falls, and threaten to rummage through his pockets.
The motive of the attack was unclear Saturday.
George Clark, a postal inspector with the U.S. Postal Service, said Saturday that the victim is a mail carrier who works out of the department’s facility at 30th and Chestnut Streets in University City.
Vaughn Summers, 25, a mail carrier, saw the video on Facebook and realized the victim was a friend and fellow carrier, and shared the video.
He said the victim, whose name he declined to give, received a black eye and stitches under his top lip. The man, in his “late 20s or early 30s,” is at his Philadelphia home recovering, Summers said.
“When I saw it on Facebook I said, ‘That’s one of my friends.’ Then I said, ‘It can’t be.’ I called him and he wasn’t answering his phone. Then I looked at it in detail, and it was him,” he said.
Postal workers in the region are sharing news and outrage about the attack on a private Facebook page, the Philly Network Postal Forum, he said. He learned of the victim’s condition and details of the attack from a post there and from communicating on Facebook with the victim’s wife.
“He said he was waiting for the train and, basically, out of nowhere, the kids were trying to get his bag, they were robbing him of his bag, but he held on to it,” said Summers, who noted it was the victim’s personal bag not the one he uses to deliver letters.
Summers said he believes the attack could be fallout from the coronavirus stay-at-home and business-shutdown orders that have left young people idle.
“These kids are bored at home, they have cabin fever, they just have nothing to do," he said. “And it’s sad because we do eight hours of working, walking up and down the street dealing with customers already.”