Center City beating victim sues three teens — and their moms

Posted: September 14, 2012

A Spring Garden man savagely beaten last summer by a bunch of teenagers has sued three of them for damages - and their mothers, for negligence.

Timothy McCoy, 37, had just gotten off a bus and was walking to the movies when a group of about six to eight teens attacked him without provocation as he walked south on Fourth Street near Walnut about 2 p.m. on July 29, 2011, according to the lawsuit filed this month in Common Pleas Court.

The teens punched him in the face and kicked him repeatedly, attorney Jonathan Cohen said. Police rushed McCoy to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he stayed two nights and underwent surgery on his jaw, which was broken in two places. Doctors also had to remove a tooth and wire his jaw shut.

The attack came as the city struggled to contain mobs of wilding teenagers, who attacked passersby, vandalized property and otherwise wreaked havoc several times that summer. It's unclear if McCoy's attack was part of the Center City flash mob spree or part of another troubling trend, in which bored teens set out to "catch a body," or randomly attack unsuspecting passersby.

McCoy has suffered panic attacks and depression and has been afraid to leave his home, according to the lawsuit. Further, while in the emergency room, he got a job offer that he had to decline due to his extensive injuries, Cohen added.

McCoy, who works in information-technology, had gotten laid off from his job making audio advertisements just before the attack, Cohen said. He has been unable to find permanent work.

The lawsuit seeks at least $50,000 in damages for assault, battery, negligence, infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy. McCoy also is suing the teens' mothers for negligent supervision.

The Daily News is not naming the teens, who were 15 at the time of the attack. Two are from South Philadelphia, and one is from Upper Darby.

The teens were adjudicated delinquent and ordered to pay $534 restitution, according to court records. Each were sent to a different juvenile facility for punishment. The teens were adjudicated delinquent and ordered to pay $534 restitution, according to court records. Each were sent to a different juvenile facility for punishment.

Cohen included the teens' mothers in the lawsuit, he said, because "part of the social contract is that you have to have control of your kids. If parents or guardians are not going to control these kids and let these things happen, then there are going to be consequences that exceed the juvenile court's reach, and the parents are going to end up in trouble."

Contact Dana DiFilippo at difilid@phillynews.com or 215-854-5934. Follow her on Twitter @DanaDiFilippo. Read her blog at phillyconfidential.com.

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