Police Probe 2 Overnight Killings In North Philadelphia

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia police are investigating two overnight killings that happened less than a mile apart in North Philadelphia.

The first happened shortly after 11 p.m., when a 53-year-old was beaten in the head with a blunt object outside a home on the 2800 block of North Fairhill Street, police said.

The exact weapon used wasn’t known, but police at the scene told reporters that witnesses reported seeing a man running from the scene carrying some type of metal object.

Police this morning identified the victim as Miguel Aguilar and said he lived on the block where he was killed.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Police_probe_2_overnight_killings_in_North_Philadelphia.html#ACJ6RB92h5orJZkM.99

Toroney Touts Tenure On Pottstown Council, Accomplishments – Reads From Prepared Statement

POTTSTOWN, PA – Several dozen people stood in front of Pottstown Borough Hall, before tonight’s council meeting, to protest the rash of violence, including a homicide, that has gripped the borough in the last few weeks.  NBC 10, the Reading Eagle and ace Mercury Reporter, Evan Brandt were all on hand (sorry if I missed anyone).  Motorists honked and shouted encouragement from time to time as the protesters held up signs asking Pottstown Borough Council President Steve Toroney to resign.

Despite the threatening weather, the demonstration went on.  Around 6:30 pm, Mr. Toroney arrived and entered the building by the front door.  He appeared indifferent to the demonstrators.

The meeting started at 7:00 pm with the Call to Order.  For the Invocation, President Toroney briefly spoke about former Pottstown Mayor Anne Jones, who passed away a few days ago.  A moment of silence was then observed for Anne and her family.

The agenda then moved through the Pledge of Allegiance, Roll Call, Approval of Minutes and then Comments from Citizens Present.

The first commenter was well-known Pottstown civic activist, Katy Jackson.  Speaking on behalf of the Pottstown Citizens Action Committee, Mrs. Jackson read with emotion from her prepared statement, which outlined in less than five minutes the flawed leadership of President Toroney.  She was interrupted at 4 minutes to tell her she had one minute left and to “wrap it up”.  No other speaker was interrupted.  See my Roy’s Rants Facebook page to view video.

Dianne Krumm, another member of the Pottstown Citizens Action Committee echoed much of Mrs. Jackson’s concerns.  She also cited Pottstown Police Chief Richard Drumheller’s goal to reduce crime in Pottstown by 1% when he took office.  She suggested Pottstown ask for help from the state to aid the beleaguered police department.

Cindy Conard, former challenger for the 7th Ward Council seat, stressed the need for conversation and communication between the residents and the borough.  She also mentioned the lack of vision and direction as contributing factors to the frustration of taxpayers.

David Garner, Esquire addressed the 7th Ward Councilor for ignoring his emails (not the first person with this issue).  He again offered his help to the borough, even after being told his help “was not needed and not wanted”.

Several others addressed council with comments like “come live in my neighborhood for a day or a week”, “my property value has dropped $40,000 in 5 years” and “the borough manager rejected my request for an appointment”.

A young woman told a horror story of being abused by an extractive property investor.  His property was inspected by the Pottstown Codes Department, there were major violations yet nothing ever happened to her landlord.  She had no heat for two months and duct tape over the windows and doors to keep the air out, “you could see outside”.  She called the Pottstown Police Department because she was being terrorized, nothing happened.  They were more interested in running her information to see if she had outstanding warrants than they were to protect her from defiant trespass.  She had to go to Norristown to get help and moved before her lease was up.  She rightly wonders why her landlord was not held accountable for the ordinances she found on the borough website and why the police department was not interested in helping her.  Great questions.

The last person who spoke expressed his frustration with being told he, as a taxpayer, is not doing enough to help fight crime in Pottstown.  He is a life-long resident of the borough, an upstanding citizen who does call the police and tries to do the right thing.  Being told he is not doing enough “pisses him off”.  He lives within a block of the recent murder (and a previous murder).  He also mentioned shootings, arson and cars being vandalized in his neighborhood.  Blaming the people who pay your salary is never the way to go.

So after all these taxpayers poured out their hearts to borough council, a red-faced Steve Toroney read a prepared statement touting his 15 ½ years on Council.  Normally politicians can rattle off a list of their accomplishments at the drop of a hat.  Steve is proud of what he has accomplished but did not offer one illustration of any accomplishment in his statement.  Interesting.  See my Roy’s Rants Facebook page to view video.   Mr. Toroney got a “jab” in at former Sixth Ward Councilor, Jody Rhoads in his remarks about not resigning.

The next item was the Mayor’s Report.  The mayor had three talking points.  First she talked about Anne Jones.  That was very nice.  Then she talked about Edgewood Cemetery, at some length.  Basically, it’s abandoned and the borough does not own the property.  The cemetery needs to be maintained… the problem.  Lastly, Sharon addressed crime.  She talked so long the video card filled up and my camera stopped recording.  Sharon did mention the last citizen’s comments in her remarks about crime.

The Borough Manager’s Report was short.  He mentioned the upcoming Pottstown Rumble volleyball tournament and that the hours are changing at borough hall. He did not acknowledge any of the citizens comments.

I left after his remarks.

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Crime Spree Starts In Hazleton, Ends In New York City

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HAZLETON, PA — A 125-mile crime spree Friday morning that started in Hazleton and ended in New York City involved the kidnapping of one woman, the attempted kidnapping of another and a dramatic ending when a stolen Cadillac Escalade crashed on the George Washington Bridge, police said.

Authorities said a 33-year-old man from New York allegedly kidnapped a woman by force from her residence on North Church Street Friday morning and was captured hours later after the bridge crash.

At a news conference, Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea identified the suspect as Luis Figueroa. Court records list Figueroa’s address as Walter Avenue, Bronx, New York.

According to DeAndrea, Hazleton police responded to 149 N. Church St. at about 8:30 a.m. after a man armed with a shotgun attempted to abduct a pregnant woman. One of the women in the house had a protection-from-abuse order against Figueroa, the chief said.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1448833/Crime-spree-starts-in-Hazleton-ends-in-New-York-City

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Gun Violence Escalating In Pottstown, Again…

Warm weather does tend to bring out the criminal element in Pottstown.  Since May 18th there have been a number of incidents of gun violence reported by the Pottstown Mercury and WFMZ-TV.

Here is a recap of what’s been going on:

Armed robbery at the Gulf Station on High Street on May 18th: http://m.wfmz.com/pottstown-armed-robber-on-the-loose/26046054

Student arrested at Pottstown High School, allegedly robs another student at gunpoint on May 28th: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140528/updated-student-arrested-at-pottstown-high-school

Shooting near Brian’s Cafe (scene of a murder last year) on May 31st:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-late-night-pottstown-shooting-sends-man-to-hospital

Armed robbery at Wells Fargo Bank on High Street (East End) on May 31st: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-high-street-bank-robbed-fbi-seeks-armed-suspect

Police investigating gunshots near Wilson and Spruce Streets on June 2nd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140602/pottstown-police-investigating-gunshots-near-wilson-and-spruce-streets

Police are investigating a shooting in Pottstown on Chestnut Street on June 3rd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140603/updated-man-injured-after-shooting-in-pottstown-video

UPDATE: Police are investigating a homicide on Jefferson Avenue in Pottstown on June 5th: https://www.facebook.com/CrimeInPottstown and also the Pottstown Mercuryhttp://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140606/man-found-dead-in-car-in-pottstown

I think the examples above should be some kind of RED FLAG that there is a problem with violent crime in the borough.  And frankly, these are just the big incidents that I could find quickly to illustrate this problem.  A town of 22,480 (2012) should not have this much crime.

People are afraid.  People should expect more for their extremely HIGH TAXES.  If the Pottstown Police Department is overwhelmed then by all means call Harrisburg and ask for some help.  HINT:  Kathleen Kane’s Office for starters.  There is nothing wrong with asking for assistance.  Be proactive instead of reactive.  Maybe “keeping a lid on the powder keg” needs to be replaced with a better strategy?????

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Man Hospitalized After Wilkes-Barre Shooting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — A man was hospitalized after being shot on Hutson Street on Thursday morning, setting off a search for a gunman.

The suspect was still at large late Thursday. Police described the suspect as a 6-foot tall male, possibly wearing glasses, with tattoos on his neck. Police warned he was armed and dangerous.

The victim went to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, and his injuries weren’t life-threatening, according to the city police Facebook page.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/man-hospitalized-after-w-b-shooting-1.1686693

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Police Disable Devices Found In Maryland Gunman’s Bag

English: Mall of Columbia interior Photo by up...

English: Mall of Columbia interior Photo by uploader, released to public domain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What happened A shooting at a suburban mall Saturday morning in Columbia, Md. left three people dead, including the suspected shooter.

The suspect and motive Police believe the shooting, which took place in or around the Zumiez skate shop in The Mall in Columbia, was a murder-suicide.

Police said Saturday night that they had found and disabled “two crude devices that appeared to be an attempt at making explosives using fireworks.” The suspect was also carrying a lot of ammunition, police said.

But the motive of the suspected shooter, an as-yet unidentified man, has not been determined and police said Saturday they didn’t yet know whether the shooting was random or whether he may have known the victims.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140125/police-disable-devices-found-in-md-gunmans-bag

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Two Students Shot At Logan Charter School

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two 15-year-old students were wounded Friday afternoon in what may have been an accidental shooting inside a charter high school in Logan, Philadelphia police said.

One of the victims, a girl who was shot through the arm, was treated at Einstein Medical Center, just blocks away from Delaware Valley Charter High School, where the shooting occurred. She was released from the hospital later in the day.

The second victim, her boyfriend, was struck by the same bullet, which lodged in his shoulder, police said. He remained at the hospital Friday night.

The shooting, which sent parents scrambling to find out if their children were safe, came two days after a 17-year-old boy was arrested for bringing a loaded handgun to a West Philadelphia charter school.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20140118_Breaking__Two_students_shot_at_charter_school.html#EzOvRdAkfh5CfyY1.99

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Man Killed In Wilkes-Barre Shooting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE - A city man was killed in what a law enforcement source said was a shooting late Thursday night.

The source identified the victim as 24-year-old David George, last known address as Academy Street in Wilkes-Barre.

George was gunned down in front of 73 S. Welles St. at about 11 p.m.  The source believes George was standing on a small front porch when he was shot.

The gunman remains at-large, the source said.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/688696/Man-killed-in-Wilkes-Barre-shooting

10 Homicides In Philadelphia Since Saturday

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ten people have been killed in Philadelphia since Saturday, an unusually deadly four-day span in the city.

The killings, which have all involved gun violence, have been reported across the city and are not related.  Police have not announced arrests in any of the slayings.

The most recent two homicides occurred overnight.

Shortly after midnight, a 21-year-old man was found fatally shot in a car on the 900 block of North Marvine Street, police said.  The man, whose name has not been released, was shot once in the head, police said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/10_homicides_in_Philadelphia_since_Saturday.html#2bZHPrTGEXqhhZIA.99

Pittsburgh City Council Approves Security Cameras For Homewood

Locator map with the Homewood West neighborhoo...

Locator map with the Homewood West neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania highlighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After heated discussion, Pittsburgh City Council passed two bills to install surveillance cameras and a gunshot detection system in a three square mile area in Homewood at a cost of $1.15 million.

The bills were sponsored by Councilman Ricky Burgess, who said recent violence in the East End underscores the need for the surveillance cameras and the gunshot detection system, which has the ability to pinpoint the location of gunshots and notify authorities.

Councilman Patrick Dowd and Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak opposed the package of bills.  Ms. Rudiak said she was concerned about how the project was proposed and funded.  The money for the project will come from the 2014 capital budget, banking on the fact the city will likely run a surplus this year.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/pittsburgh-city-council-approves-security-cameras-for-homewood-685652/#ixzz2Rz6U5M4S

Daylight Wilkes-Barre Shooting Shocks

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE – One man was hospitalized in serious condition after he was shot in the stomach Thursday afternoon on Coal Street.

The unidentified victim was involved in an argument shortly after noon and dared the shooter, a witness said.

The shooting happened hours after police on an early-morning patrol heard gunshots and found one man dead and another seriously injured with a head wound about a mile away near a bar on Scott Street.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said she could neither confirm nor deny that the shootings were connected.  But she added, “We do not believe these are random acts of violence.”

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/stories/Daylight-city-shooting-shocks,253030

Shots Ring In New Year; 2 Killed, 2 Hurt In Reading

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading did not see sunlight in 2013 before police were investigating two killings on city streets.

Two men were also wounded in the separate shootings about 80 minutes apart early Tuesday, police said.

Police identified the dead as Luis Medina, 19, of South Third Street and Najeebie Johnson, 34, of Robeson Street.

The killings marked a rough start to a new year in a city that has seen a resurgence in violent crime.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=440251