Police apprehend Phila. man who brought BB guns and kitchen knives into subway

After a rider on the Broad Street Line took a covert photograph of a man who appeared to be armed and sent it to SEPTA police, officers caught up with the suspect in Center City and confiscated several weapons, authorities said Tuesday.

"This is a story of great public involvement and tremendous police work," SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel said Tuesday.

Darryl Donahue, 52, was arrested about 10 p.m. Monday near LOVE Park by a detective who knew what the suspect looked like from the photograph, Nestel said. Donahue, who remained in custody Tuesday, had four BB guns and three large knives on his person, police said. Charges were pending late Tuesday.

It all began after a woman sent police a photo of a man with a gun in his waistband.

The man's description was then radioed to officers in the area. Nestel said Detective Bryan Carney, who was at SEPTA police headquarters at 12th and Market Streets, then went to the agency's video room and began "pulling up video of stations and saw video of the man leaving City Hall Station and passing through 15th Street Station."

The detective went to the area and found the man in LOVE Park less than an hour after the initial call.

"I knew exactly what I was looking for," Carney said. "I just started circling the area. . . . I ended up being the one to stumble upon him. We had upward of 10 to 12 officers scouring the area."

Carney, who has been a SEPTA officer for three years, said Donahue told him he had the guns for "self-preservation and just staying alive out there."

Nestel said Donahue was arrested by SEPTA police in 2009 for carrying BB guns and knives.