Cops: 'Bum' terrorized single women

Posted: July 11, 2014

THERE ARE THINGS that go bump in the night, and then there are creeps who break into homes and stand over women like weirdos until they're awake.

Tyrell Booker is of the latter variety, according to Upper Darby police.

Booker, 21, of Yeadon, is the man police said is responsible for five break-ins in the Stonehurst section of the Delaware County township in the last three months. In each case, a woman awoke to find a strange man standing over her, police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

In one incident, Booker allegedly asked the terrified victim for weed. In another, the frightened victim turned the tables on the intruder and chased him out of her house with a baseball bat, police said.

Although only one victim reported being inappropriately touched by the creep, Chitwood said his behavior was escalating.

"I can't imagine. You're in the privacy of your home and this bum walks in!" Chitwood said. "Thank God he didn't hurt anybody. We were scared that his brazenness was increasing and the potential for violence in any one of these could be astronomical."

Because none of the cases had signs of forced entry, cops think the intruder entered through an unlocked window or door. Chitwood said he believes that Booker first stalked his victims, selecting mainly single women who lived alone.

The first case happened on April 16 about 3 a.m. on Guilford Road near Lamport. A 16-year-old girl awoke on her living-room couch to find Booker standing over her, police said. He then crouched and asked her about weed, but fled when the girl threatened to yell and wake her mother, according to the arrest affidavit.

The teen told police that she recalled the same man approaching her earlier that day on the street. He had introduced himself as "Rel," asked for her number and asked where he could buy marijuana, according to court documents. The girl walked away without providing him with her number or any drug information.

Subsequent incidents occurred May 1, June 17, June 20 and June 26 between the hours of 10:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. None of the other victims got a clear look at the intruder's face, because he either fled quickly or wore a surgical mask, police said.

In the final incident, on June 26 at Clinton Road near Milbank, police believe the intruder was targeting a 25-year-old woman, but accidentally stood over her 52-year-old mother's bed instead. When the mother awoke to the light from the intruder's cellphone in her face, she grabbed a nearby baseball bat and chased him out of the house.

After the break-ins, police canvassed the township with fliers asking for information about the suspect, who was described as a thin, black man about 5 feet 8 inches tall with a gap in his teeth. Tips led police to identify Booker as a suspect, Chitwood said.

"When I tell you the neighborhood was terrorized, it was terrorized," he said. "When we went out and gave these fliers out, people were thrilled and applauding us for taking the action we took."

Police have charged Booker with one count each of burglary, trespassing and prowling, because only the first victim got a good look at the intruder's face, but Chitwood said he feels "very strongly" that Booker is responsible for the other incidents.

Booker has no history of sexual offenses, but was released on state parole in December after serving time for burglary. His bail has been set at $100,000 and his mouth remains shut, according to police.

"He has a Ph.D. in prison," Chitwood said. "He ain't talking."

When a TV reporter asked Chitwood at a news conference yesterday if Booker had an occupation, Chitwood had one response:

"Yeah - bum!"

On Twitter: @FarFarrAway



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