Woman's leg broken, others hurt in Spring Garden mob attack

Posted: June 27, 2011

A WOMAN'S leg was broken and several other people were injured Saturday night when a large group of teens accosted pedestrians in Spring Garden, police and witnesses said.

Philadelphia police responded to two reports of pedestrians being assaulted by a large group of young people along Broad Street about 9:30 p.m.

One of those reports came from Emily Guendelsberger, 27, city editor for local arts and entertainment content for the Onion, the satirical newspaper and website. She was walking with seven friends on Green Street near Broad when they were accosted, she said. Guendelsberger, who remained hospitalized with a broken leg yesterday, declined to comment further.

A friend who was with her at the time, Daily News staff writer Molly Eichel, said that they were walking down Green Street when a group of teens was walking down Broad. "We heard kids yell, 'Run, run,' " Eichel said. "Some kid just came out of nowhere and punched my friend Charlie in the face."

Eichel said that when her group tried to run, about 20 teens chased them down the street. "They were kicking kids down and punching them when they were down," she said.

Two other friends sought treatment at area hospitals for facial injuries, Eichel said.

The only redeeming factor about the experience was that a few people realized the extent of Guendelsberger's injuries and tried to protect her, Eichel said.

From the hospital yesterday, Guendelsberger gave her protectors shout-outs on Twitter. "On the positive, a bunch of girls from the mob protected me from the boys trying to hit me and take my purse while I was on the ground," she wrote. "Also a car of women from out of town saw it going down, pulled over, and (I gather) circled around to protect me; wish I had gotten names."

According to the police report of the incident, Guendelsberger was "jumped" by 30 to 40 men who punched and kicked her numerous times. Police said they checked the area for surveillance but had no luck.

Shortly before Guendelsberger's assault, police said, they responded to another assault, about five blocks away at Broad Street and Fairmount Avenue, of a 20-year-old man who said that he was attacked by a large group of men and women.

Police said that he was treated for a bruise and abrasion under his right eye.

Twitter users said that the mob ranged from 50 to 100 people and that participants not only assaulted people but also threw trash cans and lit fireworks.

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