SEPTA rider with guns, knives arrested

This post has been updated.

Police arrested a SEPTA passenger and confiscated four BB guns, ammunition, two large butcher knives and a meat cleaver he carried with him last night as he rode the Broad Street line.

Darryl Donahue, 52, of Germantown, told officers he had the weapons for protection, SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III said. He was riding the Broad Street line north, when a sharp-eyed passenger noticed the "telltale bulge" of a gun in his waistband, took his photo with her smartphone and alerted police, Nestel said.

The man got off at 15th and Market streets, and SEPTA police Sgt. Bryan Carney, armed with the tipster's photo of Donahue, found him near Love Park about 10 p.m. After Carney shouted "POLICE!" Donahue allegedly went for his gun, Carney said. But the sergeant tackled him and arrested him; he now faces weapons charges. Donahue was arrested for a similar offense in 2009, Nestel added.

Donahue "is not a butcher" and had no reason to carry such knives, Nestel said. He scoffed at the man's claims that he armed himself for protection, saying incidents of weapons aboard subways are rare, making underground travel among the safest ways to travel across the city.

Nestel praised the woman who tipped police to Donahue, saying her heroic actions show how everyday citizens can help police thwart crime.