Accused tire slasher guilty on 15 of 60 counts

Posted: February 07, 2014

A man accused of slashing the tires of nearly 50 of his neighbors in Northeast Philadelphia was found guilty Wednesday of 15 of 60 counts of criminal mischief and related offenses.

Prosecutors said David Toledo, 46, was the Mayfair tire slasher who terrorized neighbors in a four-block area between January and April 2012.

Toledo's attorney, William J. Brennan, said that the jury acquitted his client of 45 charges and that the verdict, reached after two days of deliberation, proved that Toledo was not the culprit.

"This jury verdict clearly vindicates Mr. Toledo," Brennan said. He later added: "This makes him a Mayfair tire slasher, not the Mayfair tire slasher."

The District Attorney's Office viewed the verdict differently.

"Toledo not only damaged his neighbors' cars on more than one occasion, he also slashed his own tires in an effort to cover up his crimes and throw police off his trail," Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Seth Williams, said in a statement. "Toledo held an entire neighborhood hostage with his criminal actions and the jury clearly saw that."

Toledo, who lives in Mayfair, faces a maximum of 15 years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for March 24, the District Attorney's Office said.

Brennan, however, said the court guidelines call for a sentence of probation. Toledo remained free on $270,000 bail.

The prosecution said that Toledo portrayed himself as a community activist looking for the tire slasher before police arrested him on April 16, 2012, and that the vandalism stopped after his arrest.

In his closing argument Monday, Brennan noted that no witnesses or physical evidence linked Toledo to the crimes.

Brennan told the jury that Anthony Hainsworth, a fellow community activist who testified against Toledo early in the trial, was likely responsible for the tire slashings.

Assistant District Attorney Tracie Gaydos told jurors that Toledo had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crimes and that he was driven by a desire for publicity.

She said police arrested Toledo after they noticed air seeping from one of his own tires, shortly after he was seen wiping condensation from his car.

"He called the news media," Gaydos said. "He was on the front page of the paper and on the 6 o'clock news. These crimes . . . were done for attention."


vclark@phillynews.com

215-854-5717

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