South Philly man, 84, mugged on his own street

Pietro Lavini, who was robbed and assaulted outside his South Philly home.
Pietro Lavini, who was robbed and assaulted outside his South Philly home. (FAMILY PHOTO)
Posted: August 15, 2011

PIETRO LAVINI, 84, has spent most of his life employed as a tailor.

Now, police are trying to stitch together the details of how the retired great-grandfather from South Philadelphia was beaten and robbed Saturday on the street where he lives.

Lavini was walking to pick up a copy of the Daily News from a nearby Kwik Mart about 10:20 a.m. when he stopped at his parked car on Cantrell Street near 10th to roll up the window, according to his granddaughter Angel Daly.

But before he could get into his car, Lavini was pushed to the ground from behind and then hit in the back of the head, police said.

He lost consciousness, and when he came to, his wallet was missing. Police later found the wallet - with Lavini's credit cards still inside - in a trash can at the Kwik Mart. But $220 in cash was gone, said Daly, 40.

Lavini was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he was treated for a brain hemorrhage, a head bruise, a cut on his chin and a swollen jaw, Daly said. He was admitted to the hospital overnight, but was scheduled to be released yesterday, she said.

Meanwhile, police had no description of the assailant(s) but were checking video surveillance.

Daly said the family heard that the assault might have been committed by one or more teenagers.

Although Lavini is retired, he takes care of his ailing wife, who has diabetes and has trouble walking, according to Daly. The couple have five children, nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

"They depend on each other," Daly said. "It's a shame that people are treated like this when they get older. It's a shame they have to be afraid to walk outside of their house to get a paper."

She called the person or people responsible for the attack "cowards" for targeting an elderly man from behind.

"They probably could have just got the money; they didn't have to do all that," Daly said. "Nobody is fearful of anything anymore. How do you deal with this?"

Tipsters are urged to call police at 215-686-8477.

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