Man faces trial, accused of gunfire at rec center


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. ••


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