Editor’s note: The person of interest is apparently from Pottstown. If any Pottstown peeps can identify this person, please call 215-686-TIPS (-8477). Click on the read more link to see a video of the altercation.
REGULAR skaters at LOVE Park say they have a subtle truce with the rangers, a cat-and-mouse game of grinding along concrete steps when they’re gone and leaving peacefully with wheels up when they show up.
The skaters were OK with that, too, but now they fear that some “suburban kid who always acts hard” has ruined it for all of them by punching, kicking and spitting on a ranger who tried to get him and some other skaters to leave Friday afternoon.
“He’s an idiot,” skater Ki Realer, 34, said of the unidentified suspect, who is wanted by police on assault charges. “Not only are the police looking for him, but he’ll also never be welcome here again. Now we all know what’s coming for the rest of us.”
The incident happened about 5:30 p.m. Friday, police said – a day after a big antiviolence vigil in LOVE Park – and was witnessed by a large crowd that included Michael “Philly Jesus” Grant, who was profiled in a Daily News cover story on Aug. 8.
THE YOUNG woman who befriended Tiffany on the Internet seemed innocent enough – so in the midst of a rough patch with her father, the 16-year-old Northeast Philadelphia girl let her new cyber-friend pick her up at home.
When she got into the taxi on that fateful day in January 2006, Tiffany didn’t know that she was stepping into a dark underworld of violence, drugs and sex slavery. The seemingly normal young woman she’d met on MySpace.com delivered her into the hands of Rahiim McIntyre, 36, a now-convicted violent sex trafficker who awaits sentencing in federal prison.
Over the next two weeks, she would face unimaginable horrors as she plotted to get away from her captor without being caught and beaten – or worse.
The experience of Tiffany – a pseudonym created by the Daily News to protect her identity – is not uncommon.
Stories of shakedowns, brutality, kidnapping, and theft have dogged a group of the city’s Narcotics Field Unit officers for nearly a decade. But despite multiple investigations, cases against them never stuck.
Federal prosecutors set out to change that Wednesday, laying out a sprawling racketeering case against six of the unit’s former members. The charges paint them as rogue cops running roughshod over the rights of their targets, confident that few would believe anyone who dared complain.
As the years went on, the 26-count indictment suggests, Officers Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman, and John Speiser became only more brazen.
Between February 2006 and November 2012, it states, they stole more than $500,000 in cash, drugs, and personal property – all while using extreme force, and falsifying police reports to downplay their takes.
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.
ON A WARM night in Overbrook, Askia Sabur spotted his cousin outside a Chinese takeout and pedaled his bicycle over to chat.
Within minutes, Sabur lay bleeding and barely conscious on the sidewalk, as a crowd of cops – several with long histories of brutality complaints – beat him, opening gashes on his head that would require six staples to close.
In West Philadelphia, Stephen Moore was watching TV alone in his bedroom when his home-security system announced his front door was open.
Moore went to investigate, only to be pumped full of lead by a cop who started firing after entering the house without saying a word.
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.
NORRISTOWN, PA — The alleged “Swiss cheese pervert,” Christopher Pagano, 41, of Norristown, was arrested Thursday morning as part of a joint investigation between Philadelphia and Norristown police, according to NBC10.
Pagano is suspected of being the “Swiss cheese pervert,” infamous throughout the area for his penchant for propositioning women to perform lewd acts on him using Swiss cheese.
According to NBC10, the suspect was described as a heavy-set male between the ages of 40 and 50 with a goatee. Police also said he was driving a newer model silver sedan but has also been spotted in a black colored sedan.
GENTLEMEN prefer blondes. This guy prefers Swiss.
As in cheese – the kind normally found sandwiched between corned beef and rye on a Reuben. But this particular man is using his dairy products to satisfy a different craving.
The Mayfair Town Watch reported yesterday on its Facebook page that the “Swiss Cheese Pervert” has been terrorizing neighborhood women.
According to the group, the suspect, a heavyset white man estimated to be in his late 40s or early 50s, approaches women while driving a silver or black sedan with his genitals exposed. He then displays a piece of sliced Swiss cheese and offers to pay the women to put the cheese on his penis and perform sexual acts on him using it.
POTTSTOWN — Police filed charges against a pair of Philadelphia men for the Friday morning murder of George Hashimbey, 22, at the King Street Commons apartments.
Khaleef Jones, 21, and Daquan Hamilton, 20, will both face charges filed Sunday by Pottstown Police in connection to the alleged murder that also left another victim in an area hospital with gunshot wounds.
The second victim was not named but was identified as a 23-year-old man by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Jones and Hamilton were both officially charged Sunday by the Pottstown Police, according to court documents, which listed the case, as of 4:30 p.m., as “inactive.”
IT WAS ABOUT 8 o’clock Tuesday night, and the chilly, rain-soaked streets of North Philadelphia‘s 39th Police District were nearly empty as Officer Michael Levin’s Crown Vic crept across the blacktop.
But Levin, who usually works in bicycle patrol when weather and circumstances permit, was on the street anyway, keeping a watchful eye on the swaths of North Philadelphia, Nicetown, Germantown and East Falls that make up the district headquartered at 22nd Street and Hunting Park Avenue.
On this night, Levin, 28, a seven-year veteran who’s spent all those years in the 39th, reflected on community policing – a strategy favored by Capt. Michael Craighead, who took command of the district about a year ago.
“Bike patrol is really good for community relations. People come up and thank you. It’s a real good deterrent presence,” Levin said. “The community needs us and we need them.”
A Manhattan chef suffered a broken jaw while walking in Philadelphia last week in what he believes could be a vicious example of a so-called “knockout” attack – but police aren’t yet calling it that.
But police say they are investigating the assault on Diego Moya, 30, and hoping to locate surveillance video in hopes of finding suspects, said Officer Jillian Russell, a department spokeswoman.
According to police and Moya’s own account to the New York Daily News, Moya had just finished eating pizza with some friends in Old City when he headed out toward the hostel he was staying at on the first block of S. Bank Street about 11 p.m. Tuesday. He had been in town visiting his parents for a pre-Thanksgiving visit.
While on Bank Street, Moya was attacked from behind. He told the New York Daily News he believes it was a group of males between the ages of 16 and 21. Philadelphia police said Moya was not able to give a description of any attackers after they arrived about 11:30 p.m.
Philadelphia police arrested 84 people and seized more than $100,000 worth of drugs in a citywide sweep earlier this week, the department announced Friday.
The sweep also yielded 18 firearms, including a .40 caliber assault rifle, police said.
The operation is the third of its kind that police have conducted this year, said Capt. Tom Davidson, the commanding officer of the Narcotics Field Unit. But Monday’s sweep was the first that focused on districts across the city, he said, instead of targeting a particular neighborhood.
Allentown City Council unanimously and enthusiastically confirmed Joel Fitzgerald’s nomination as the city’s new police chief.
Fitzgerald, 42, a veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, is the first minority to be named police chief.
“I feel like the arms of Allentown have opened up to me,” Fitzgerald said. “It’ll be a privilege to be part of the community here.”
Fitzgerald has been chief of police in Missouri City, Texas, since April 2009, and before that spent 18 years with the Philadelphia Police Department.
NORTH PHILADELPHIA Crime-scene investigators recovered human remains in a North Philadelphia ravine Friday as part of an investigation into suspended Homicide Detective Ron Dove, who is suspected of lying about three killings and a man’s disappearance, according to law enforcement sources.
Police have been digging in the area since last month, after they found information on the veteran detective’s iPad concerning Reynaldo Torres, a North Philadelphia man who has been missing for a year and a half.
Investigators believe Dove concealed information about Torres’ disappearance and the slaying of Torres’ friend Melanie Colon from other detectives.
Around 2:30 p.m., investigators found what is believed to be a human jawbone in the trash-strewn ravine near Fourth and Westmoreland Streets, the sources said. Medical examiners were trying to identify the remains Friday night.
Somehow, the cellphone slipped out of her hand.
Ngoc Tran Vo, a 30-year-old beauty with a checkered past, was on a 12th-floor balcony of the Residences at Dockside in the wee small hours Friday, looking south on the Delaware River, when her phone tumbled to a patio eight floors below.
Vo, and the man whose apartment she was visiting, called security from the posh condominium and asked them to retrieve the device, said police Capt. Laurence Nodiff, of South Detectives.
“They said they could do it at a reasonable time, but it wasn’t even 4 a.m.,” he said. “They couldn’t disrupt the sleep of anybody who was in the [fourth floor] apartment.”
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.
Police say a neighborhood man stole copper piping from a vacant home in the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia, causing a natural gas leak and explosion that leveled the two-story house Saturday afternoon.
Michael Migliaccio, 35, was arrested later that night.
The house on the 4700 block of East Howell Street had been vacant for about a year, and was for sale, according to Philadelphia police.
No major injuries were reported in the collapse. A fire department dispatcher said crews are still excavating the home to make sure there was no one inside.
Nine people were shot in a 24-hour period in the city this weekend, including six people who were injured in two separate triple shootings, according to police.
The bloodshed began at 11:53 p.m. Friday, when an unknown person or persons opened fire on Parrish Street near 12th in North Philadelphia. Injured in that hail of gunfire was an 18-year-old man who was shot once in the buttocks and taken to Hahnemann University Hospital in stable condition; a 17-year-old boy who was shot once in the left hip and once in the back and was taken to the same hospital in critical condition; and a 19-year-old man who was shot in the right leg and chest and taken to Hahnemann in stable condition, police said.
Cops did not release a motive or suspects in the shootings.
Editor’s note: Great news!
PHILLY’S HOMICIDE rate is raising some eyebrows – but this time, it’s for all of the right reasons.
From the start of the year through Wednesday night, 54 homicides were recorded, a 39 percent drop from the same period a year ago, according to police statistics.
Shootings were down 20 percent, from 274 to 218, and overall violent crime fell 9 percent through March 31, the last date for which those figures were available.
For a city that has long been haunted by stubbornly high homicide tallies, the lower figures represent an encouraging sign of progress.
Whether that progress can be maintained through the notoriously violent spring and summer months is anyone’s guess.