Yanked from wheelchair, disabled man beaten, robbed

Posted: July 31, 2012

The disabled man said he had never seen the two people who showed up at his door, but allowed them to enter his apartment anyway.

They proceeded to beat him, yank him out of his wheelchair; drag him "like a rag doll" from the kitchen to the living room, and make off with his 55-inch TV, an X-Box 360, and painkillers, Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said this morning.

They then took the cellphone from the 37-year-old unnamed victim, who has muscular dystrophy, and threw it behind a chair to keep him from calling for help.

"It certainly was unconscionable," Chitwood said.

On Friday, the day after the incident, police arrested Dominic Henderson, 23, of Upper Darby, charging him with assault, robbery and other counts. They were seeking a second suspect, identified as Keenan Smith, of West Philadelphia, 20.

He said they also wanted to question a cousin of the victim.

The victim, who wasn't seriously injured, told police that his cousin called early Thursday to tell him he was in a car accident, needed some of his OxyContin pills, and was sending two men to pick them up.

The victim was suspicious, and although he allowed the two entry, he recorded the visit on a videocamera.

The videotape doesn't show the beating, but one of the men is seen dragging the victim into the living room and then stealing the TV.

Chitwood said that when the two left with the TV, the X-Box, several X-Box games, and 35 OxyContin pills, the disabled man crawled to the front door to lock it and then retrieved the cellphone. Upper Darby police arrived just before 5:30 a.m.

According to court records, Henderson pleaded guilty or entered no-contest pleas to drug-related and stalking charges in four prior arrests dating to 2007.

Smith has been arrested at least four times in Philadelphia, court records show, and pleaded guilty to firearms violations in 2009.

The disabled victim Chitwood said, "was scared to death."

As for the two alleged assailants, Chitwood said, "they should be put away forever."


Contact Anthony R. Wood at 610-313-8210 or twood@phillynews.com

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