Northeast Times

Tire-slashing suspect to get his day in court

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An at­tor­ney for ac­cused “May­fair tire slash­er” Dav­id Toledo tried to throw Toledo’s former neigh­bor un­der the bus.

Mu­ni­cip­al Court Judge Fe­lice R. Stack last Thursday ordered Toledo, 44, to stand tri­al on more than 60 charges in­clud­ing crim­in­al mis­chief, pos­sess­ing an in­stru­ment of crime and fil­ing false re­ports to po­lice. Toledo al­legedly punc­tured the tires of 49 un­at­ten­ded vehicles in his neigh­bor­hood, in­clud­ing his own, dur­ing a six-month spree of van­dal­ism that con­cluded with his April ar­rest.

But de­fense at­tor­ney Wil­li­am J. Bren­nan ar­gued dur­ing Thursday’s pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing that Toledo’s neigh­bor, An­thony Hainsworth, should be the one fa­cing charges. Hainsworth, a self-ap­poin­ted neigh­bor­hood patroller, had the op­por­tun­ity and the tool to com­mit the crimes, ac­cord­ing to Bren­nan.

“If you’re go­ing to hold some­body (for tri­al), hold Hainsworth,” the de­fend­er said. “Every night, he was out there with his three-and-a-half-inch knife patrolling the streets. Mis­ter Toledo was out there once.”

Hainsworth, a res­id­ent of the 4000 block of Aldine St., was one of sev­en wit­nesses called by pro­sec­utors Lauren McHale and Tracie Gay­dos dur­ing the hear­ing, which las­ted about four hours.

Hainsworth de­scribed Toledo as a re­l­at­ively new res­id­ent of Aldine Street when the late-night tire-slash­ing in­cid­ents began last Oc­to­ber. Mainly, cars parked on the 4000 and 4200 blocks of Aldine and Tees­dale streets were af­fected by the peri­od­ic epis­odes of van­dal­ism.

By Janu­ary, Hainsworth said, the loc­al news me­dia had be­gun re­port­ing the in­cid­ents, at­tract­ing pub­lic at­ten­tion and that of Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Charles Ram­sey, who vis­ited the block to in­spect the dam­age after one in­cid­ent.

Hainsworth began “patrolling” the neigh­bor­hood on foot nightly in Janu­ary, al­though he was not part of an or­gan­ized Town Watch or Block Watch group. He was out of work at the time.

Toledo joined him on “the first two nights,” Hainsworth said, but then stopped. Hainsworth’s nightly patrols con­tin­ued, as did the van­dal­ism.

Po­lice Of­ficers Melissa Pan­e­bi­anco and Dave Richard­son of the 15th dis­trict test­i­fied that they were as­signed to patrol the area cov­ertly in “plain” clothes and an un­marked vehicle. They de­veloped a rap­port with Hainsworth, who would con­tact Richard­son by phone with re­ports of sus­pi­cious activ­ity in the area.

Hainsworth typ­ic­ally walked the neigh­bor­hood from 11 p.m. un­til the fol­low­ing morn­ing. He usu­ally car­ried a fold­ing knife at­tached to his belt. Pan­e­bi­anco said she was aware that Hainsworth car­ried the knife.

Pan­e­bi­anco and Richard­son each test­i­fied that they met Toledo for the first time late on April 15 when he again joined Hainsworth on patrol. Toledo had a “brief con­ver­sa­tion” with the of­ficers at about 11:30 p.m. on a nearby block of Frank­ford Av­en­ue, Pan­e­bi­anco said.

Dur­ing the en­su­ing hours, Hainsworth and Toledo patrolled the neigh­bor­hood, some­times to­geth­er and oth­er times sep­ar­ately, Hainsworth said. By about 4 a.m., Hainsworth had seen noth­ing sus­pi­cious and de­cided to walk one fi­nal patrol be­fore re­tir­ing for the night. Toledo agreed, Hainsworth said.

The neigh­bors split up. Minutes later, Hainsworth dis­covered a car with a punc­tured tire at Aldine and Er­drick streets. He sent a text mes­sage to Richard­son at 4:23 a.m. Hainsworth met up with Toledo and found a second dam­aged car on the 4200 block of Aldine.

The two un­der­cov­er of­ficers and a uni­formed patrol of­ficer ar­rived on the block to in­spect the vehicles. Then their su­per­visor, Lt. John Mor­oney, ar­rived. Toledo walked away from the group, Hainsworth said.

A short time later, po­lice found sev­er­al more dam­aged cars on Tees­dale Street.

Pan­e­bi­anco test­i­fied that she had seen Toledo walk­ing alone on Er­drick Street from Tees­dale Street to­ward Aldine. He then turned onto Aldine and entered his home. As Pan­e­bi­anco re­traced Toledo’s steps along Aldine, she found a car with a punc­tured tire that was still de­flat­ing and mak­ing a hiss­ing sound. Toledo had walked past the car “two to three” minutes earli­er, Pan­e­bi­anco said.

In all, po­lice found 13 vehicles with punc­tured tires that night, Richard­son said.

Re­gard­ing a sep­ar­ate in­cid­ent, Po­lice Of­ficer Mi­chael Hos­good test­i­fied that he saw Toledo act­ing sus­pi­ciously around his own vehicle, a Chevy Co­balt, at about 5:30 a.m. on March 20. Then minutes later, a tire on the Co­balt went flat.

Toledo re­por­ted the dam­age to Hos­good, who was sit­ting in a marked po­lice car on the block.

Po­lice ar­res­ted Toledo at his home on April 25 and seized sev­er­al knives and con­struc­tion-style blades from the house. Toledo is free on $40,000 bail and is sched­uled for an Aug. 2 ar­raign­ment in Com­mon Pleas Court. ••

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You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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