UPPER DARBY police are searching for a Philadelphia man who was involved in what Superintendent Michael Chitwood described as a brutal robbery inside 69th Street Terminal on Christmas morning.

The 48-year-old victim was returning from work and waiting for a bus about 1:40 a.m. Thursday when three men approached him and demanded his SEPTA TransPass, according to police. They punched and kicked him and threw him down the steps.

"These guys were at the terminal for one reason only, to rob and steal something," Chitwood said.

SEPTA police quickly arrested two of the men: Anthony Johnson, 25, of East Germantown, and Paul Whyte, 24, of Southwest Philadelphia's Mount Moriah section.

The victim was taken to Delaware County Memorial Hospital for a cut above his eye that required stitches. He also suffered other head and neck injuries and underwent a CT scan.

At one point during the attack, the victim was unable to breathe, police said. While Johnson held his hand over the victim's mouth, police said the victim bit Johnson's finger.

"The guy was trying to keep him from yelling," Chitwood said of Johnson. "He didn't bite it off."

A call to the victim's cellphone number led SEPTA police to Johnson. "Lo and behold, in Johnson's front pocket is the victim's phone," Chitwood said.

Johnson and Whyte were charged with robbery, aggravated assault and related offenses. Cops were still searching for the third attacker.

"These guys that do these . . . attacks, they truly are evil," Chitwood said. "Here's a guy, 48 years old, working on Christmas Eve, coming home from work and these guys are going to steal what he's got. It's just mind-boggling."

Tipsters should call Upper Darby Police at 610-734-7686.

" @wbender99