Alleged Chinatown groper arrested

Posted: May 08, 2012

?1? Man surrenders in groping incidents

Spring Street near 10th, Chinatown

The suspect in two recent groping incidents in Chinatown surrendered to cops in the Special Victims Unit on Friday, two days after being identified as a suspect, police announced Monday.

Melvin Bulls, 24, now faces charges of indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, simple assault, harassment and related offenses for allegedly grabbing the backsides of a 23-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl on April 26. An anonymous tip led police to issue a warrant for Bulls after they released surveillance video of one of the incidents early last week.

Court records show that Bulls had pleaded guilty to theft and receiving stolen property in 2010 and to criminal trespassing in April of last year.

He’s being held at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on $50,000 bail and is set to appear in court for a preliminary hearing May 23.

?2? Driver sought in Bensalem hit-run

Street road near Shady Lane, Bensalem

Bensalem police are asking for the public’s help in solving a hit-and-run accident that left a Philly man critically injured.

Kevin Hubbard, 45, of the Far Northeast’s Parkwood neighborhood, was found lying on the eastbound shoulder of Street Road near Shady Lane just after 11 p.m. April 28. Hubbard, who remains in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, had wounds consistent with being hit by or falling from a vehicle, police said.

Police ask anyone who saw Hubbard that night or knows of a vehicle that could have been involved to call Detective Glenn Vandegrift at 215-633-3638.

UpdateS: Trial postponed for cop accused in sex assault

A federal judge postponed until June 25 the civil-rights trial of a Philadelphia police officer accused of sexually assaulting a man in his police cruiser, because the officer, a reservist, is away on military leave.

Officer Michael Paige was supposed to go to trial Monday to answer to claims that he violated James Harris’ civil rights by forcing the North Philadelphia man to repeatedly perform oral sex on him in March 2007, while the officer was on duty and in his police cruiser in Fairmount Park.

Last Wednesday, Paige’s attorney, Brian Puricelli, filed a motion to recuse U.S. District Judge Robert F. Kelly, arguing that the judge is biased against Paige. Puricelli complained in his motion that Kelly has characterized Paige’s activity as shocking and also ordered him to jail for failing to pay sanctions for noncompliance with an earlier order.

Paige was arrested and fired from the Police Department in 2007 after internal-affairs detectives sustained Harris’ claims of sexual assault. But Paige successfully fought for reinstatement after a city judge acquitted him of criminal charges, deeming the sexual activity consensual. The married Paige didn’t take the stand during his criminal trial and since has denied any sexual interaction with Harris, despite DNA evidence proving sexual activity occurred. He now works as a patrolman in West Philly.

Weekend homicide victims identified

Philadelphia police have released the names of the victims of two weekend homicides and announced an arrest in one of the fatal shootings.

The arrest was from a Saturday-morning shooting. About 9:44 a.m., a robbery turned deadly on Cumberland Street near 3rd, in the Fairhill section of North Philadelphia.

Wilberto Santiago, 43, of Leithgow Street near Cambria, was shot more than once and was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital at 10:14 a.m.

Arrested was Peter Joe Albert, 42, of Marshall Street near Cambria. The addresses of the men and the crime scene all lie within a half-mile of each other.

In a shooting from Saturday afternoon, Keenan Gaskins, 21, of Woodlawn Avenue near Boyer Street, died of a gunshot wound to the chest at 3:31 p.m. at Albert Einstein Medical Center.

Police said that he was shot about 3 p.m. on Nelson Street near Locust Avenue, in East Germantown. Police had no information about a motive or suspects.

Anyone with information about either of these cases is asked to call homicide detectives at 215-686-3334 or -3335, or the Police Department’s anonymous tip line: 215-686-8477 (-TIPS). n

— Morgan Zalot, Dana DiFilippo and Peter Mucha

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