Arrest made in SEPTA-bus assault of NewsWorks freelance photographer

Philadelphia Police announced Friday morning that a woman has been arrested in connection with the May 31 assault of NewsWorks freelance photograper Bas Slabbers on the SEPTA Route 23 bus.

A police spokeswoman said the suspect’s identity would not be released until officials are done processing her.

However, NewsWorks content partner NBC10 reported that 49-year-old Cassie Darby was arrested “while she was walking near 3100 Chestnut St.”

Slabbers, who learned of the arrest while out on assignment for a NewsWorks story, said he was surprised by the viral nature in which the video of his attack culled more than 76,000 views on YouTube.

“I’m relieved,” said the 35-year-old from Mt. Airy, “not for myself, but for everybody else since this could have randomly happened to anyone.”

According to court records, Darby is currently awaiting trial on charges of possession of a controlled substance by person not registered to do so. She pleaded guilty to retail theft charges in 1991 and public drunkenness in 2006. She was also found guilty of drug possession in 2001; prostitution in 2002, 2004 and 2007; and simple assault in 2008. The court records list six aliases for Darby.

NewsWorks will post a story later Friday with Slabbers reaction to the arrest, the notoriety his attack garnered and people’s reactions to the story itself.

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