Trial date set for alleged attacker of NewsWorks freelance photographer

An August trial date was set in the case of Cassie Darby, the 49-year-old woman accused of attacking a NewsWorks freelance photographer on a SEPTA bus on May 31.

The assault garnered widespread attention when Philadelphia Police released a video of the attack.

On the day of the incident, Bas Slabbers, a Mt. Airy resident, boarded the bus at Germantown Avenue and Gorgas Lane shortly after 2 p.m. He said he then sat and began reading emails on his phone.

When Darby boarded the bus, she sat down briefly before she approached Slabbers and began punching him in the face and on his head. Darby exited the bus a few blocks later at Germantown and Chelten avenues.

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Slabbers reported the incident to police and pictures were taken of injuries to his head and face, but he did not require medical treatment.

Darby was apprehended by SEPTA detectives three weeks after the incident while walking along the 3100 block of Chestnut St.

She is currently awaiting trial on a separate charge of possession of a controlled substance by person not registered to do so, according to court documents.

Darby 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.

Trial on the bus-assault charges is scheduled for Aug. 15.

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