Jonathan Gay ID’d as Suspect in Rittenhouse Cab Attack

The former Freeman’s auctioneer was on probation in a 2016 case at the time of Monday's incident.

Left: Jonathan Gay in a Philadelphia Police Department photo. Right: Photo by Claire Sasko.

Left: Jonathan Gay in a Philadelphia Police Department photo. Right: Photo by Claire Sasko.

A 51-year-old man has been charged in Monday’s crazy Rittenhouse Square cab attack.

Jonathan Gay is currently in police custody. He has been charged with robbery of a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment, simple assault, and driving under the influence, among other offenses.

In case you somehow missed the chaotic scene, a brief recap: On Monday afternoon, reports began to emerge that a naked or semi-naked man had stolen a cab and driven it wildly through Rittenhouse Square.

Police say that just before 3:30 p.m., a driver for 215-GET-A-CAB was dropping a 49-year-old female passenger off at 20th and Locust streets. When he pulled up, the suspect approached the cab, opened the door, and pulled the woman out by her hair. Then, according to police, he stole the taxi, hitting at least three vehicles and driving through Rittenhouse Square — meaning through the actual park.

“It was pretty effing scary,” witness Josh Schonewolf told us. “People were running inside and stuff. When they pulled [the man] out of the cab he was all red and naked and crazy.”

Here is the video we shared on Monday showing the out-of-control cab and the bystanders who got involved to stop it:

At the time of his arrest, Gay was on probation in a 2016 case in which was charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, theft, and other offenses. The most serious charges — including aggravated assault — were dismissed, but he was found guilty of theft and receiving stolen property. That case was decided in Municipal Court. Gay appealed, and the case is currently scheduled for trial in Common Pleas Court later this year.

Also in 2016, Gay was charged with violating an order or agreement, but that case was dismissed after the complaining witness failed to appear in court.

According to court paperwork, Gay resides in Center City. He was once a licensed auctioneer in Pennsylvania and worked at Chestnut Street’s prestigious Freeman’s Auctions.

He’s scheduled for a preliminary hearing on February 23rd and remains in custody in lieu of bail.

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