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Overbrook residents unnerved after police reveal teen raped and beat woman at T station

| Thursday, July 7, 2016, 12:48 p.m.
Port Authority of Allegheny County's McNeilly Station T stop on July 7, 2016.
Port Authority of Allegheny County's McNeilly Station T stop on July 7, 2016.
Port Authority of Allegheny County's McNeilly Station T stop on July 7, 2016.
Port Authority of Allegheny County's McNeilly Station T stop on July 7, 2016.

The worst crime Gloria Keller, 74, can recall in the Overbrook neighborhood was when someone stole a pumpkin from in front of her house.

So she was shocked Thursday when she learned that a woman had been beaten and raped Monday night as she got off the train at the McNeilly Station, just up the street from Keller's house.

“I couldn't believe something like that happened here,” said Keller, who said she was sitting outside with her husband just before the attack occurred at 10 p.m.

“We're outraged,” Keller said. “I should have known about this.”

Port Authority Police said a 15-year-old boy sexually assaulted the woman on the McNeilly Station platform. The teen, whose name was not released, was arrested Wednesday and is being held at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center, said Port Authority spokesman Adam Brandolph.

“We know that he followed the victim; I can't say from where,” Brandolph said.

“There's very little information that I can share right now,” he said.

The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment of her injuries, Brandolph said.

Barbara Mather, 59, of Brookline said it “scared the heck out of her” when she found out about the sexual assault.

She rides the T to work every day and believes she should have been notified sooner of the incident, since the alleged attacker wasn't arrested for nearly two days.

“I'm on here in the early morning, sometimes by myself,” she said. “It makes me scared.”

Brandolph said police started investigating immediately and were corroborating details provided by the victim Tuesday.

Investigators identified the teen as a suspect quickly, but it isn't typical to alert the public in such cases, he said.

“We knew who he was, and we didn't want to tip him off to the fact that we were looking for him,” Brandolph said.

That tactic didn't worry Rich Baranowski, 34, who also lives near the station.

“He got caught,” he said. “If it happened all the time, I'd be concerned.”

The station, which has an elevated platform for T users, should have more lighting and possibly a security guard, Mather said.

Keller, who can hear the train from her living room, agreed. She said she frequently sees women at the station after dark.

“They need an alarm of some sort not only to alert authorities but to alert people like us that there's trouble going on up there,” she said.

Elizabeth Behrman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at 412-320-7886 or Lbehrman@tribweb.com.

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