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NEWS
July 5, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
A 25-year-old man who stole two police cars and hit an officer with a car in Camden was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in state prison. Blake Bills of Macungie, Pa., pleaded guilty in June to carjacking and eluding police. He must serve 85 percent of his carjacking term, or more than 14 years, before being eligible for parole. He also was sentenced to eight years in prison on the eluding count, which will be served concurrently. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped the other charges Bills had been facing, said Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.
NEWS
April 9, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the boys on Gratz Street heard the gunshots Sunday afternoon, they abandoned their game of basketball and started to run. Up and down the street, neighbors heard the shots, too - about 10, in rapid succession, they say. Minutes later, Teyeesha Callia - just three blocks away at a cousin's house - picked up her phone. Her daughter was on the other end. "Mom," she said, "Kashie got shot. " By the time Callia made it back to the 1500 block of Gratz, her son, 11-year-old Kashie Crawford, was already in the back of a police car racing to Temple University Hospital.
NEWS
March 11, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
MARISSA SARGEANT is starting to look more like a bad example than a protective mother. In November, Sargeant publicly accused Tullytown Borough police of "brutally" assaulting her son, Joey Williams, 14, after he was arrested on shoplifting charges at the Walmart on Route 13. She posted photos of his swollen face on Facebook. They went viral, with supporters comparing it to the Rodney King beating. Now, three months after the Bucks County District Attorney's Office cleared the officers of wrongdoing, Sargeant is in prison on felony charges that she shoplifted from the same Walmart, police said.
NEWS
January 16, 2014 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA & DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writers gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
COMMON PLEAS Judge M. Teresa Sarmina might want to avoid checking her voice messages for the foreseeable future. The Fraternal Order of Police, District Attorney's Office and the family of fallen Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Boyle yesterday unleashed a torrent of fury in Sarmina's direction as they responded to the judge's recent decision to vacate a death sentence for Boyle's killer, Edward Bracey. In a one-page ruling Friday, Sarmina sided with Bracey's attorneys, who argued that he was mentally retarded - and thus shouldn't be executed, because of a constitutional restriction.
NEWS
January 9, 2014 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
Shot on the streets of Philadelphia? You might be better off if help arrives in a patrol car than in an ambulance. From 2003 through 2007, gunshot victims taken to city trauma centers by police survived two-thirds of the time - the same rate as those taken by emergency medical squads, according to a new University of Pennsylvania study. But that was only what the raw numbers showed. Generally, shooting victims transported by police during that five-year period were more gravely wounded.
NEWS
December 27, 2013 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
WHEN CAPT. LOU Campione drives down the streets of South Philly, people stop. They jump at that chance to say hi to "Lou," to ask him how everything's going, to swap information. On a recent snowy afternoon, Campione chatted up the staff of Rosica Pharmacy on Snyder Avenue near 21st Street, speculating on how deep the falling snow would pile. This wasn't police work - although Campione did visit the business to sign off on one of his district's 84 community police logs - just conversation.
NEWS
December 21, 2013 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
CAMDEN Atlantic City and one of its police officers must pay $250,000 each in compensatory damages after a jury found the officer used excessive force against a man and the department failed to provide proper training to its officers. Michael Troso, 39, a former New Jersey deputy attorney general, sued the city and five of its officers after an incident at the Trump Marina on the night of his bachelor party Aug. 9, 2008. The Wednesday evening verdict came as Atlantic City and the lone officer found at fault, Sterling Wheaten, a K-9 handler, are being sued in at least five separate federal lawsuits.
NEWS
December 14, 2013 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
TULLYTOWN The Bucks County district attorney on Thursday cleared Tullytown police of any wrongdoing when they used a Taser last month on a handcuffed teen who had run from them and then fell on his face. The 14-year-old suffered numerous facial injuries. A photo of his bruised and scabbed face, which went viral, prompted the investigation. The boy's family said it remained unsatisfied with the district attorney's conclusion and repeated claims of excessive force after the boy was arrested on shoplifting charges.
NEWS
December 5, 2013 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
MARCUS HOOK Mayor James Schiliro has resigned, a month before his term was to expire. Last month, Schiliro was found guilty in Delaware County Court of recklessly endangering another person, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, official oppression, and furnishing liquor to a minor. On Monday, Schiliro sent a letter to the Borough Council tendering his resignation. "We accepted it," said Borough Solicitor Mark Much. Council President Gene Taylor, who was elected mayor in the November election, will serve as acting mayor until he is sworn in, Much said.
NEWS
November 29, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA In another setting, Blake Bills might have been envied: 25 years old with a fiancee and 16-month-old daughter, loving and supportive parents, family and friends. "All I want is to be a loving husband to my fiancee and father to my daughter," Bills said. That's going to take some time - 21/2 to 10 years, the prison term imposed Wednesday by a Philadelphia judge for Bills' three-day drug-fueled crime spree. It culminated with a Camden police officer injured, two stolen squad cars, and a high-speed chase over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge that ended when he crashed in North Philadelphia.
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