A Philadelphia woman is being hailed as a hero after she came to the aid of a woman and her newborn baby on a train.
The ordeal began when Tameka Bates noticed a man eyeing a young woman and her baby as they waited for the train in North Philadelphia. The man followed the woman onto the train and proceeded to harass her, asking if he could see her week-old baby. When the woman refused, the man tried to remove the baby’s blanket to see the child, but Bates intervened.
“I said, ‘Miss, just stay with me and I’ll protect you. I have you covered. Don’t worry,’” Bates, a minister at Resurrection Evangelistic Church, told MyFoxPhilly.
The man, identified as 40-year-old Steven Mason, continued to follow the woman around the train and even tried to grab the baby, but Bates blocked his path, using her body to shield the mother and her child, while calling on God for help.
“I said Satan, the Lord God, rebuke you in the name of Jesus you will not touch this woman.”
The scary incident was caught on tape and occurred just moments before Philadelphia law enforcement officials say Mason assaulted a SEPTA Police Officer.
According to police, Officer Ronald Jones confronted Mason minutes after he harassed the women on the train, and was brutally attacked.
During the violent confrontation between the two men, Officer Jones attempted to subdue Mason with pepper spray, but he continued to charge ahead, striking the officer and knocking him to the ground. The men wrestled on the platform for several minutes while Mason attempted to grab Officer Jones’ gun. Bystanders tried to help Officer Jones apprehend Mason, however, it didn’t work. He was able to escape onto a train, but was finally taken into custody when backup arrived.
Mason has been charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and disarming a police officer. Police think he was under the influence of drugs at the time.
In light of Mason’s volatile encounter with officers, SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel called Bates a hero for stepping up to protect a woman she did not know.
“She should be playing for Villanova or St Joe’s during the tournament because she boxed this guy out better than any forward I’ve seen on any team,” Nestel said. “This was just phenomenal, phenomenal behavior on the part of somebody who doesn’t even know another person getting in and making sure they were safe.”