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Man allegedly took phone of woman hit by train

MBTA Transit Police

Transit Police are looking for a man they say stole the cellphone of a woman who was struck and killed by a Red Line train Thursday night, and are asking the public for help to identify the man.

The woman was struck by a train at the Downtown Crossing station about 9:48 p.m. Thursday night, according to MBTA Transit Police spokesman Lieutenant Richard Sullivan.

After reviewing video surveillance, detectives discovered that the victim’s phone, which was in a distinct orange case, had flown away from her upon impact and landed on the platform.

The video shows a man walking over to the phone and placing his foot on top of it, as though to conceal it, before reaching down and putting the phone in his pocket, Sullivan said. The man then casually walked away, Sullivan said.


“It’s reprehensible,” he said.

Sullivan said the video speaks for itself: The man appeared to witness the woman getting struck by the train and took advantage of the situation.

“Ninety-nine percent of all of the other people were concerned about what happened, running to the end of the train to see if they could help,” he said. “This gentleman had a different idea.”

Since the transit police posted information about the incident online Friday, Sullivan said numerous people have expressed strong opinions about the man.

“A lot of people are outraged,” he said.

The accident disrupted Red Line service Thursday, with MBTA staff temporarily shutting down power at the Downtown Crossing station as a precaution.

After the woman was struck, riders poured out of the station and were rerouted to buses running between the Harvard Square and Broadway stops.

Transit Police are releasing photographs of the man to ask for help tracking him down. Anyone with information can call 617-222-1050 or text tips anonymously to 873873.


Nicole Dungca can be reached at