A Burholme man who was at the center of a post-St. Patrick’s Day Parade shooting at the Fox Chase Recreation Center last year has been ordered to stand trial on felony weapons charges.
Last Friday, Jacob T. Underwood, 24, of the 7200 block of Claridge St., waived a preliminary hearing on charges including assault, reckless endangerment, carrying a gun without a license, carrying a firearm in public and possessing an instrument of crime. His Common Pleas Court arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 17.
On Sunday, March 13, Underwood allegedly drove with two passengers to the recreation center at about 6:30 p.m., exited his car, confronted a group of young adults and teens that were drinking there and fired a live round from his .45-caliber Glock into the air. Underwood and his pals then fled back to his car as the opposing crowd gave chase, authorities said. Underwood allegedly fired one more shot to keep them at-bay as he and his pals sped away.
Responding to a 911 call, police soon spotted Underwood’s red Camaro at Oxford Avenue and Verree Road, where they allegedly found him in possession of the gun, which he was not licensed to carry. Officers arrested Underwood but not his passengers.
Later, when police returned to the recreation center, the remaining witnesses were reluctant to provide information about the shooting. Officers cited 13 people for public drinking or underage drinking at the recreation center that night.
The incident heightened neighborhood tensions for days afterward as rumors circulated that the confrontation resulted from an ongoing dispute between young people from Fox Chase and those from other locales. One rumor had it that the conflict began in Center City at the St. Patrick’s Day parade earlier that day.
In fact, some of those cited for drinking that night at Fox Chase had also attended the parade. And one year earlier, after the 2010 St. Patrick’s Day parade, a confrontation also occurred at Fox Chase but did not escalate into gunfire.
Underwood remains in jail at the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center in lieu of $150,000 bail.
He is also on probation in connection with a simultaneous but unrelated case. He was arrested on Aug. 11, 2010, for shining a hand-held laser at a Philadelphia police helicopter. The beam momentarily blinded the pilot and threatened the safety of the aircraft.
Underwood agreed in December 2010 to enter into a so-called “diversion” program for non-violent, first-time offenders. But he violated the terms of that program with his arrest the following March.
Last Dec. 21, Common Pleas Court Judge Roger F. Gordon found him guilty of risking a catastrophe and related offenses and sentenced him to three years probation. ••EndFragment