Few clues to teen charged in stabbing

Posted: February 14, 2014

RESIDENTS OF the block of Sigel Street between 20th and 21st in Point Breeze keep to themselves.

"This isn't an area where you go out and meet your neighbors," one man, who declined to give his name, said outside his home on the block last night. "You see someone, you give a nod to say hello.

"That's it."

Which might explain why several residents on that block didn't know who Amber Hellesten was when a reporter asked them about her. Police said yesterday Hellesten, who lives on the block, left a 14-year-old boy clinging to life at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia after stabbing him late Tuesday.

The District Attorney's Office announced yesterday that Hellesten, 15, will be charged as an adult with attempted murder in the stabbing, which police say occurred on Watkins Street near 21st.

A motive hasn't been officially released, but Chief Inspector Scott Small, who responded to the scene, said an argument may have sparked the attack, which occurred less than a mile away from the street where Hellesten lives.

That stretch of Sigel Street is a rough one: Several homes are boarded up, seemingly abandoned. An empty, trash-strewn lot scars the line of houses near the center of the block. Residents prominently display "Beware of Dog" signs in their front windows or taped next to their exterior mailboxes.

Hellesten remained in police custody last night awaiting arraignment on a serious charge.

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