PHILADELPHIA, Penn. (CNN) – This week, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority gained the right to refuse passengers not wearing a face mask, but after police forcibly removed a rider from a bus Friday, that rule has been rescinded.
The man was physically dragged off a SEPTA bus by three Philadelphia Police Department officers. He was resisting, holding on as tightly as he could and refusing to get off. Police say prior to the incident, the man was asked to exit the bus multiple times by the driver and was warned by police.
The rider face mask police was implemented this week after dozens of employees became infected with COVID-19 and three employees died. Employee union forced the plan after complaining about too many riders who were riding vehicles, taking non-essential trips, and putting operators at risk.
After the video of the man’s arrest received viral reaction, SEPTA has switched gears, now only urging customers to wear face masks, saying those who refuse will not be denied a ride.
The man was not arrested or cited, and police are still investigating the incident. Philadelphia’s mayor said he had no problem with the passenger being removed, but said he did not see the video.