Ramsey, attorney for injured teen get testy

Posted: January 19, 2014

THERE'S NO shortage of finger-pointing in the case of Darrin Manning, the local teen who claims he suffered a ruptured testicle at the hands of an aggressive female Philly cop.

During an afternoon news conference yesterday, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said Internal Affairs investigators are trying to get to the bottom of what exactly happened Jan. 7 when Manning, 16, had an encounter with officers at 15th Street and Girard Avenue.

"We have spoken to [Manning's] attorney, and his attorney has refused to allow us to speak to the young man," Ramsey said. "Clearly, we need to talk to him to find out what happened."

A reporter told the commissioner that Manning's lawyer, Lewis Small, had indicated a willingness to cooperate, but had been rebuffed by Internal Affairs.

"Listen, let me tell you something: That's bulls-," Ramsey said. "We have done everything we can to try and interview this person."

Manning, a straight-A student who doesn't have a record, has not made a statement to police, Ramsey said, so investigators have been working from media descriptions of the incident.

Small, reached by phone last night, said he told Internal Affairs detectives that he would give them a summary of Manning's allegations and a hospital report that lists the young man's injuries.

But he said he won't allow Manning to be interviewed because the teen was charged with three misdemeanors on that frigid afternoon - recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and simple assault.

"If they withdraw the criminal charges, then I'll allow them to take a statement," Small said.

In other words, this ain't getting resolved anytime soon.

Manning told Daily News columnist Helen UbiƱas earlier this week that he and other members of the Mathematics, Civics & Sciences Charter School's basketball team, the Girard Avenue Mighty Elephants, got off at the subway stop at Broad Street with the intention of heading to Berean Institute to play Frankford High.

Manning said one of his classmates might have mouthed off to a cop who eyed the students, who were wearing hats, gloves and scarves on a day that featured record-cold temperatures.

Some, including Manning, took off running when the cop approached.

Ramsey narrated about five minutes of footage that was recorded by a police surveillance camera at 15th and Girard.

The footage, which jumps from one corner of the intersection to another every 10 seconds, offered glimpses of Manning struggling with two officers who had followed him in a patrol wagon. They end up on the ground, and Manning is handcuffed. A handful of motorists and pedestrians look on as backup officers swarm the scene.

No cops were injured. Ramsey asked anyone who witnessed the incident to contact Internal Affairs.

A female officer appears on camera briefly, but isn't shown touching Manning. Ramsey said he put the officer, whom he declined to identify, on desk duty.

Generally, he said, cops aren't supposed to pat down members of the opposite sex, unless it's a matter of personal safety.

Small said a female cop grabbed and yanked on one of Manning's testicles, and repeated the act when he screamed in pain. The teen underwent emergency surgery Jan. 8 at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"She's got to be prosecuted," Small said. "She committed an indecent assault upon a minor."

Ramsey said: "We take [this] very seriously, but we want to try to piece together what actually happened, and take whatever action is appropriate."

On Twitter: @dgambacorta

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