Alleged Mayfair tire slasher to face trial

Posted: July 13, 2012

David Toledo, the man known to police and city prosecutors as the Mayfair Tire Slasher, moved a step closer to his day in court Thursday after a Philadelphia judge ordered him to stand trial for dozens of slashings and related crimes that allegedly took place from January to April of this year.

Following testimony from several police officers during Toledo's preliminary hearing, Municipal Senior Judge Felice Rowley Stack held him for trial on 49 counts of criminal mischief, 54 counts of possession of an instrument of crime and five counts of making false reports to police.

Toledo, 44, who remains free on bail, will be formally arraigned Aug. 2, Stack said.

Before his April 25 arrest, Toledo had become a self-appointed neighborhood spokesman on the vandalism. He appeared in newspaper articles and on television denouncing, and even threatening to butcher, the elusive slasher. Police, however, came to believe that it was Toledo who had been slashing the tires — including on both of his own vehicles — in the vicinity of Aldine and Teesdale streets.

Officer Michael Hosgood testified Thursday that while stationed on Aldine Street the early morning of March 20, he saw Toledo wiping condensation off both of his cars, including the tires, before driving off in one of them. But seconds after pulling off from the curb, Hosgood said, a rear tire went flat. No one else had been near the car before Toledo wiping it down and attempting to drive it off, Hosgood said.

Det. John Harrigan testified that a search warrant of Toledo's Aldine Street rowhouse yielded four knives which he described as "heavy-duty, folding, razor knives." Also found, Harrigan said, were two newspaper articles about the slashings that featured Toledo.

"Once we arrested Mr. Toledo, the tire slashings stopped in the [targeted] area," Harrigan said.

Defense attorney William J. Brennan said his client maintains his innocence and suggested that a neighborhood watch volunteer who was known to carry a three-inch knife was the real culprit.

"I have to think that at trial the D.A. is going to have to reassess her position in that, there is absolutely not one eyewitness that they can present to show that Mr. Toledo was anywhere near a tire with a weapon," Brennan said after the hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Tracie Gaydos said she was confident Toledo was the slasher.

Contact Mensah M. Dean at 215-568-8278 or deanm@philly.com or @mensahdean on Twitter.

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