Thugs beat, rob U. Darby man in wheelchair

Keenan Smith
Keenan Smith
Posted: July 30, 2012

A MAN in a wheelchair who was beaten in his Upper Darby apartment by two intruders who wanted his pain pills was able to record the whole horrific scene on video, according to police.

"The video actually shows them dragging him in to the living room like a rag doll and just throwing him on the floor," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood. "It's sickening. It's outrageous."

About 5:30 a.m. Thursday, the 37-year-old victim, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, got a call from a cousin who said that he'd been in an accident and wanted to come over and "borrow" a couple of OxyContin pills, police said.

The victim agreed but, "smelling a rat in the ointment," he also set up a video camera in his living room, Chitwood said. Instead of his cousin showing up, the victim was greeted at his Lansdowne Towers apartment door by two strangers who were later identified as Keenan Smith, 21, and Dominic Henderson, 23, police said.

They punched the victim in the face, dragged him out of his wheelchair and stepped on him while he was on the floor, Chitwood said.

The men then stole the victim's 50-inch Samsung television, his Xbox, his video games and 35 of his OxyContin pills before throwing his cellphone behind the couch and leaving him helpless on the floor, police said.

Chitwood said it took the victim a half-hour to crawl from the living room to the front door so he could lock it. He then had to crawl back to retrieve his cellphone to dial 9-1-1. The victim is so scared that he has moved out, Chitwood said.

"I don't know where he's going to go, but I certainly hope he's not going to go with the cousin," he said.

Chitwood said he "absolutely" believes that the victim's cousin set him up. Chitwood said that police know the identity of that person, but they've not yet released his name. One of the two alleged intruders, Henderson, of Upper Darby, was arrested the same day as the robbery during a car stop on Long Lane, according to police. He has been charged with robbery, assault, recklessly endangering another person and related offenses, and remains jailed on $50,000 bail.

Authorities are still looking for Smith, of 67th Street near Cobbs Creek Parkway, Southwest Philadelphia. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call Upper Darby police at 610-734-7684.

Reach Stephanie Farr at farrs@phillynews.com or 215-854-4225. You can also follow her on Twitter @FarFarrAway and read her blog philly.com/DailyDelco.

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