Brothers describe attacks at 2 Septa stations by teens on a lark
Last week was not a good one for the Costa brothers, both of whom claim they were not only assaulted in separate instances near the Market-Frankford El but that their teen assailants documented the attacks.
William Costa, 47, of Mayfair, said he was about to board a train at the Frankford Transportation Center, at Bridge and Pratt streets, about 8:10 a.m. Thursday when two teen girls pushed him from behind, knocking him to the ground.
He said two other girls were videotaping the incident, and a fifth teen, a boy, kicked him while he was down. All five then ran onto a train and were able to get away, he said.
William Costa said he suffered a broken index finger and required four stitches above his left eye as a result of the incident.
SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams confirmed that Costa had reported the incident to SEPTA police, though she said that she had no notes of his being kicked and that the police report indicated that there were only four female assailants.
About 8 p.m. the next day, Joseph Costa, 57, of the Parkwood section of the Northeast, had just left the turnstile at the 60th Street station when, he said, someone hit him in the back of the head with a board.
"I didn't see nothing coming," he said. "I went down on my knees, and that's when they started kicking and punching me."
Joseph Costa said eight teen boys and two teen girls began "whaling on" him, kicking and punching him when he was down for about 90 seconds.
"They were mostly laughing and having a good time while they were doing it," he said.
He said that the teens ran off and that two city cops showed up about 30 seconds later.
The officers, he said, told him he was the seventh such victim along the El line that week.
Police confirmed Joseph Costa's report, but said they could not confirm any other attacks without the location of the incidents or whether there had been any arrests, a spokeswoman said.
Joseph Costa, who still had a noticeable black eye and abrasions on his head yesterday, said that after police left the scene, a man approached him and told him he had witnessed the attack and that the teens were taking pictures during the beating.
"This guy said he knows the kids from the neighborhood but he's got to live there and didn't want to get involved," Joseph Costa said. "That's Philadelphia for you."
Because the teens did not rob either brother, the Costas believe that the teens attacked them for fun.
"You know, I ain't scared of a whole lot - women and snakes, that's it," Joseph Costa said. "But that really freaked me out, that all them kids would do that."
The brothers said they hope that anyone who has faced a similar assault will come forward and report it to police.
"I wasn't the first one, and I won't be the last," Joseph Costa said.