Boy, 14, charged in assault, crashing stolen SUV

Posted: May 21, 2014

A 14-year-old West Philadelphia boy severely beat his 70-year-old foster mother Monday morning, then stole her car, drove it to Chester County, and crashed into another vehicle in Tredyffrin Township, police said.

The teenager faces charges including aggravated assault, attempted murder, third-degree felony theft, reckless endangerment, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to Philadelphia and Tredyffrin police.

The foster mother, Marrie Chess, was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with a fractured sternum and head injuries, police said, and was listed in stable condition.

No one was injured in the car accident. Police did not release the boy's name.

Police said the beating, inside Chess' home on the 400 block of North Daggett Street, grew out of an argument about the boy's having stayed out too late.

The boy hit Chess with a table, a picture frame, chairs, and his hands, said Philadelphia Detective Francesco Campbell. He also threw her down stairs before driving off in Chess' Chevrolet TrailBlazer.

He hit another car with the SUV shortly before 10 a.m. on Diamond Rock Road, between Yellow Springs Road and Horseshoe Trail, in Tredyffrin, police said.

Witnesses said the boy was speeding and driving recklessly on the winding road, according to Tredyffrin police. Police did not release the make and model of the vehicle the SUV hit.

"It's very easy," said Sgt. Todd Bereda, a Tredyffrin police spokesman, "to lose control of your vehicle on such a roadway."

610-313-8207 @MichaelleBond

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