Northeast man arraigned in tire slashings

Posted: April 26, 2012

The man who told reporters he felt “like butchering” the vandal who slashed tires in his Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood was charged Thursday in the crime.

David Toledo, 44, of Holmesburg, was arraigned on 49 counts of criminal mischief, seven counts of possession of an instrument of crime, and five counts of submitting false reports.

Toledo, who police said slashed the tires on his own Jeep Cherokee to mislead investigators, had been among the most vocal in speaking out against the vandalism. He urged fellow residents to organize a community-watch group to nab the slasher.

“I feel like butchering the one who is doing this,” Toledo said a short time after reporting to police that all four tires on his SUV had been slashed, just one week after the same thing happened to his wife’s car.

Police said that since November, Toledo had vandalized 55 cars on Aldine and Teesdale Streets.

He was being held Thursday after not posting $270,000 bail, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. His next court appearance is set for Thursday.

Toledo was convicted of drunken driving in 2000, records show. In 1998 he was charged with carrying a firearm in a public place, but the charge was withdrawn. In 2005 he was charged with criminal mischief and harassment, but those charges were dismissed.

Fred Arabia said he lived next door to Toledo from about 2003 to 2008 on the 5100 block of Erdrick Street in the city’s Frankford section. During that time, he had numerous problems with Toledo, he said.

“As far as I’m concerned ... he has a rotten attitude,” said Arabia, 84. “He thinks he can do whatever he wants and he’ll get away with it.”

Arabia said Toledo and Toledo’s son slashed tires on his car, threw paint on his door, and threw a rock through his window.

“There was no way I could prove who did it, but I knew it was him,” Arabia said.

He said that once Toledo tried to run him off the road while driving behind him.

“I don’t know what his problem was,” Arabia said.

Toledo moved off the block when he split with his then-wife, Arabia said.

Philadelphia police said they could not comment on any specific complaints against Toledo from previous neighbors, but police sources did confirm that Toledo had been accused of tire-slashing in the past.

As police took Toledo into custody Wednesday, a Fox 29 news crew filmed him. When a crew member asked Toledo if he did it, Toledo responded with an emphatic “No.”

Contact Allison Steele at 215-854-2641 or asteele@phillynews.com.

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