BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer email@example.com, 215-854-4225
Posted: January 04, 2013
FROM A decorated police lieutenant caught cold-cocking an unarmed woman to a wild wedding brawl captured on camera by a 15-year-old tourist, Philly videos scored big numbers at the YouTube box office in 2012.
If seeing is believing, even veteran lawmen were shocked when they saw a little girl fight off her abductor and, in another video, a group of teen girls attack a mentally challenged woman in her own home.
The viewing material ventured into R-rated territory when cameras caught a cabbie with his pants down and a chanting family at a suburban high school with no pants at all.
Perhaps, in some quiet, bizarre corners of southeastern Pennsylvania (ahem . . . Delco), these kinds of events have always occurred. But with YouTube and a video camera in the hand of every smartphone owner, for the first time large numbers of people are seeing what only a few would have witnessed.
Here, we present 10 real-life wedding and cop dramas, thrillers and tearjerkers and the comedies and sports flicks that left us with unforgettable images in 2012.
*Some of the videos contain graphic violence and/or language that may be NSFW*
'The Outlaw Josey Wales'
Philadelphia police Lt. Jonathan Josey often worked as an actor in local stage productions and as an extra in films, but it was a 36-second clip titled "Philadelphia Police Brutality" that was posted to YouTube on Sept. 30 that made him notorious.
In the video, Josey is seen standing with a group of officers in North Philly following the Puerto Rican Day Parade when one or more people spray an unknown liquid on the cops while their backs are turned.
It's unclear if petite Aida Guzman, 39, was one of those who threw the liquid, but when Josey turned around, she was the first person he apparently saw. As she walked away, Josey hit her once in the back of the head and once in her face, knocking her to the ground.
The video, which has been viewed more than 1.5 million times, sparked national outrage. Josey was fired two days after the story broke.
On Nov. 15, Josey was charged with simple assault. He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial in February.
When two wedding parties clashed with one another and with police at the Society Hill Sheraton in the early-morning hours of Oct. 7, Max Schultz, 15, of Camp Hill, grabbed his cellphone and started filming the chaos.
Schultz, in town with his family to celebrate his birthday, intended to show the video only to friends, but when local reporters asked him to post it to YouTube, it went viral.
"All the attention the video got was as surprising as witnessing the actual events," said Schultz. "I never thought it would be such a big deal."
The video, which shows 50 to 100 guests battling with dozens of cops, now has more than 1 million hits.
When the brawl was over, it was discovered that Vincent Sannuti, 57, who was the uncle of one of the brides and who'd escaped the melee, had died of a heart attack outside the hotel.
In the days after the donnybrook, two male guests were arrested and charged with assault on police for their alleged roles in the fracas.
'The Brave One'
The video of an attempted abduction in July was so terrifying, it shocked even the most seasoned police officers.
"Even they had never seen it happen," said police spokesman Cpl. Frank Domizio. "They'd taken reports, but they'd never seen it happen."
A 10-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother were walking home from getting water ice one afternoon in South Philadelphia when a man, later identified as Carlos Figueroa-Fagot, attempted to abduct the girl, police said.
The surveillance video showed the girl thrashing to get away for an agonizing 8 seconds while her terrified baby brother screamed.
"You were literally watching somebody fight for their life," Domizio said.
Figueroa-Fagot, 33, was startled by the reaction of the girl and her brother's screams and fled the scene, police said.
Authorities credited the release of the video surveillance for Figueroa-Fagot's decision to surrender to police.
Domizio said the tape so moved people that a man in Germany who studies competitor's vehicles for BMW felt compelled to analyze the offender's vehicle caught on the tape so police could capture the suspect.
"He has a young daughter and he saw it and he was incensed," Domizio said. "He proceeded to do a study for us like he'd do for BMW, and the end result was a 40-page PDF telling us what the car was.
"It was amazing," Domizio said. "Truly."
'Too Hot to Handle'
When police released surveillance footage of a well-dressed mustachioed man throwing a full cup of hot coffee at a Lancaster Avenue doughnut-shop clerk in May, the public was steaming.
Shortly after releasing audio-and-video surveillance of the act, Southwest Detectives were flooded with tips identifying the java jerk as David Timbers, 52, of Mantua.
After waking up and smelling the coffee, Timbers turned himself in. He later called the hotheaded act "the biggest mistake of my life." Timbers is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 24, after pleading guilty to aggravated-assault charges.
As a result of his guilty plea, several charges against him were dropped, including possessing instruments of a crime, which, in this case, would be the coffee.
It wasn't dirty laundry but rather, living-and-breathing laundry that made a surveillance tape from the Federal Laundromat in Camden one of the must-see videos of the year.
Titled "Epic Parenting Fail at a Laundromat," the video from the May 11 incident shows a man putting 1-year-old Saimeir Bush into a front-loading washer, seemingly, as a joke.
But, to the horror of the man and the woman who was with him, the washer door locks and the cycle begins, sending the boy spinning as the tub fills with water.
After several failed attempts by the man and woman to get the child out, they run and grab employee Kong Enh, who unplugs the machine and frees the boy.
After the video was posted, it came to light that the joke-gone-wrong was not a failure on the part of a parent, but on the part of the child's baby-sitter and the man who accompanied her to the laundromat.
After the video went viral, the boy's mother, Sakia David, appeared on the "Today" show and said the baby-sitter had lied and told her the boy had suffered cuts and bruises falling down steps.
Prosecutors didn't press charges in the incident.
When a concerned citizen notified police of a disturbing video posted to YouTube of a pack of teen girls beating a mentally challenged woman in Chester in September, Chester Police Commissioner Joseph Bail Jr. called it "one of the more horrible things" he's seen in 40 years of policing.
The video, filmed by one of the six teen attackers, shows the girls beating the woman on the steps of her home and following her inside her apartment to beat her more when she tried to flee.
Throughout the video, the girls can be heard laughing and taunting Della Shearer.
At their preliminary hearings in October, several of the girls, who range in age from 15 to 19, apologized to Shearer, 48, who testified that the attack was "the worst beating" of her life.
Students at Upper Darby High School received an unusual lesson in human anatomy in March, when a woman and her three children stripped naked in the school's parking lot and began chanting.
One shocked student broke out his cellphone and began filming as police arrested the bare bunch. Comments from the videographer and his male friends include "Everybody's naked!" "What the hell is going on?" and "That's the weirdest thing. You'll never see this at a school!"
According to police, Sara Butler, 43, had gone to the school with her two daughters, ages 22 and 23, and her 14-year-old son to try to remove her 17-year-old son from the school. When school officials would not release the boy because Butler does not have custody of him, his family members left, but returned and stripped down to their birthday suits in the parking lot and began chanting.
Butler was charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct and pleaded guilty in October. She was sentenced to probation.
According to the Delaware County Daily Times, Butler's attorney, Sharmil McKee, claimed that Butler had a reaction to medications she was taking and believed that the world was ending.
As to why she and her children shed their clothes, McKee was quoted as saying, "In order to please the Lord, Miss Butler felt that she needed to exit the world in the same manner as Adam and Eve entered the world, and to do so, she needed to be naked."
When a Freedom Taxi driver used Bainbridge Street as his personal poop deck early one July morning, he was caught on camera by resident Thomas Van Der Grift's home-surveillance camera.
Van Der Grift said he noticed the pile of poo on his sidewalk and, thinking it was too large to be from an animal, checked his surveillance camera. Sure enough, it caught a tasteless taxi driver pulling over his vehicle, pulling down his pants and doing his do-do.
As a result, the cabbie, who was never identified by the company, was fired and his license suspended - and Philadelphia's reputation got another stain.
'Surviving the Game'
Philadelphia sports fans were the villains in two of the year's more memorable videos.
When shaky cellphone footage was released of a Flyers fan beating a Rangers fan outside of Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia following a Flyers loss on Jan. 2, local sports fans may have thought their reputation couldn't get any worse.
But, when the victimized Rangers fan turned out to be an off-duty Woodbridge, N.J., cop and a decorated Iraq War veteran, it did. Then, in December, things got worse. Two Sixers fans got in an argument with Chicago Bulls fans on the El following a Sixers loss, and one of the Sixers fans pulled a handgun and fired into the El car. The shot hit one Bulls fan in the abdomen and another in the leg. Both were hospitalized in stable condition.
After releasing the surveillance video, police were able to identify two suspects, Matthew Early, 18, and his brother, Eric Early, 16.
Both are in custody facing attempted-murder and related charges.
As for the Flyers fan who beat the Rangers' fan, he was identified as Dennis Veteri, 32, of Glassboro. Veteri pleaded guilty to the attack in December and was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months of house arrest and five years of probation.
When a burglar broke into the Healing Pharmacy in Germantown in November, surveillance video captured the man's fall through a rooftop hole he'd used to enter, as well as his numerous, comedic attempts to get back out.
He had such a rough time trying to escape that he left behind the bookbag he'd filled with prescription drugs and the hard hat he was wearing.
Eventually, the burglar did escape through the same hole he came in. He was never arrested.