November 21, 2013
The arrest last week of a 17-year-old accused of posting secret grand jury evidence on Twitter should calm fears of witness intimidation in the city, right? Not if you live in a crime-infested neighborhood where thugs don't need social media to let people know they had better not cooperate with the police. Even so, the arrest of the Martin Luther King High School student could lead to the person who apparently provided him with undisclosed statements from a grand jury proceeding.
November 4, 2013 |
The young men had been summoned to the ornate room in City Hall because police had determined that they were the ones most likely to shoot or be shot. After months of intelligence huddles, police and prosecutors had identified the 45 South Philadelphia corner boys who shuffled into the courtroom that spring morning as "impact players" - possible triggermen - in violent street crews. Flanking the lectern were neighbors, outreach workers, and city and federal law enforcement officials, including Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and District Attorney Seth Williams.
October 16, 2013 |
BODIES FULL of bullet holes began piling up on Rudolph "Rudy" McGriff's record before he was old enough to buy himself a beer, but he always found a way to dodge murder convictions. In 1995, when the West Philly native was 18, the Daily News noted that he had a "penchant" for being accused of murder, after he was acquitted of the crime a second time. That seemed like an understatement later that year after McGriff was accused of a triple homicide. Now, McGriff, 38, is in jail again, charged with a sixth murder - this time of a girlfriend, Malisha "Lai Lai" Jessie.
October 2, 2013 |
Tens of thousands of federal employees in Philadelphia and South Jersey - including civilian members of the military - are to be furloughed Tuesday after the U.S. government plunged into a partial shut down ovenight. Nine national parks in New Jersey are closed, while Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and Valley Forge will turn away visitors. Furloughed workers at Independence Park, in the meantime, plan to hold an informational picket at the park at noon Tuesday. But many critical services - from airport screening to customs inspections, health care for veterans to mail delivery, Coast Guard patrols to immigration processing - remain in place.
September 27, 2013 |
A FORMER Philadelphia Catholic priest has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy, the Philadelphia district attorney announced yesterday. The Rev. Robert L. Brennan, 75, was arrested Wednesday night in Maryland and charged with rape and related crimes for allegedly abusing the boy from 1998 to 2001, when he was 11 to 14 years old. Brennan, who was in his early 60s at the time of the alleged assault, was an assistant pastor at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish, in the Northeast.
September 25, 2013 |
A WHEELCHAIR-BOUND man allegedly stabbed an acquaintance five times in the leg when the victim refused to buy the man's Xbox early Sunday morning, Upper Darby police said yesterday The victim, 57, remains at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in serious condition, said Michael Chitwood, Upper Darby police superintendent. The same man who is charged in the stabbing, Andrew Hinson, was the subject of a segment on 6ABC this summer when he claimed his wheelchair was stolen from out front of his Upper Darby home.
September 19, 2013
ANOTHER mass shooting, another violation of the Second Amendment rights of the murder victims. Each of the 12 victims killed Monday at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard had a constitutional right to freedom from an undisciplined (we use the word advisedly) individual who had no business carrying a gun, certainly no business owning one. The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms for the purpose of maintaining a well-regulated militia - the latter entity surely being out of bounds for trigger-happy Aaron Alexis, who had a well-documented history of irresponsible gun use, and yet took a newly purchased shotgun into the D.C. Navy Yard and willfully slaughtered a dozen people.
September 19, 2013 |
A day after police said a 12-year-old boy was raped by a teenager on his way to school in West Philadelphia, the leader of the city's school system said the district was considering what steps to take to prevent such attacks. "That was a terrible, horrible incident," Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Tuesday. The boy, a student at Morton McMichael School in the Mantua section, reported the attack when he arrived at the school about 8:30 a.m. Monday, police said. The incident happened in an alley in the 3900 block of Brown Street, police said.
August 16, 2013 |
In early July, the needle on the city's homicide dial jumped. The reason was Justin Mackie, who is 19 and has a tattoo of a .38-caliber revolver on his forehead. In statements to police, Mackie has confessed to killing three people over nine days this summer in separate attacks - all while on the run in the shooting of a cabdriver. Mackie and his older brother, Tevin Hammond, had bragged to friends that they would not go down without a fight. On July 22, the crime spree ended in a daytime shootout with FBI agents outside an East Mount Airy apartment building.
July 31, 2013 |
A FORMER EMPLOYEE of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals filed a whistle-blower suit accusing the agency of failing to properly train officers and failing to report the theft of controlled substances. Michael Houck Sr., who was hired as assistant director of humane law enforcement in September, claims he took his concerns to top officials at the nonprofit several times but was rebuffed. Houck was fired in May, allegedly for making racist and sexist comments, but the suit claims it was in retaliation for his speaking out. In the complaint Houck, a retired Philadelphia police sergeant, alleges that the agency failed to file a police report in March when vaccines, drugs and rabies tags taken from the agency were found by West Chester police.