DA Calls Out NRA After AK-47 Toting Septa Passenger's Bail Incre - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

DA Calls Out NRA After AK-47 Toting Septa Passenger's Bail Increased

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PHILADELPHIA -


As a detective carried away the high powered AK-47 seized by SEPTA Police from a passenger on a rush hour train this week, DA Seth Williams came out firing.

"I don't care what the NRA says, they can kiss my butt," Williams said. "I don't care. There's no reason for a guy to have a gun like that."

Williams comments came after a judge hiked the bail for suspect Jermal Ponds from $100,000 to $200,000. He said SEPTA police and a brave citizen who spotted Ponds with an AK-47 assault rifle like this, averted a "real major tragedy" from occurring on the city's subway system.

"What is it like G.I. Joe or something. I mean, the whole thing is crazy," added Mayor Michael Nutter.

The DA wanted half a million dollars bail, calling Ponds a danger to the community. Ponds was spotted on a rush hour train at the City Hall station by a subway passenger. He was carrying a bag with the AK-47 and another weapon, plus a loaded 40 round magazine. Minutes later SEPTA police arrested Ponds at the Fairmount station.

"It's just amazing to think of the mayhem, the destruction, the pain and violence that this defendant could have brought," Williams said.

Ponds' attorney Lawrence O'Connor fired back "The district attorney's motion, in our opinion, was simply to further sensationalize this case."

Passengers on SEPTA believe the judge was right to increase Ponds bail. Several cited the recent massacre at a Colorado movie complex by a suspect with an AR-15 military style rifle.

"What if he would have pulled that gun out and starting shooting at everybody," passenger Marvin Ellis said.  

"I wouldn't want to see him get out," another added.

Ponds lawyer says he was moving the guns from his girlfriends home to a new apartment and had no intention of using them. He said a "lapse in judgement"  caused him to get on the SEPTA subway with the weapons.

Police says Ponds has three prior arrests, but no convictions.   Both weapons were legally registered, but Ponds did not have a permit to carry the handgun. Police say he shouldn't have been carrying the AK-47 in the same bag with the loaded 40 round magazine.

Ponds will be back in court Aug. 17th.

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