Cameras help cops nab suspect in brutal attack

Hon­ors: Of­ficer Chris­toph­er Mc­Cue, second from left, and Of­ficer Thomas Far­rell, third from left, re­ceive monthly hon­ors. Flank­ing them are Com­munity Re­la­tions Of­ficer Di­anne Murphy and 2nd Dis­trict Com­mand­er Capt. Frank Palumbo.

Mod­ern tech­no­logy and a po­lice­man’s sharp eye led to the cap­ture of a North­east man wanted in con­nec­tion with a bru­tal as­sault in April on a Rhawn­hurst res­id­ent.

On June 11, mem­bers of the 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil named Chris­toph­er Mc­Cue and Thomas Far­rell as the April Of­ficers of the Month, com­mend­ing them for the April 17 ar­rest of 26-year-old Ab­ra­ham Cor­dova. 

The story began early April 11 when Cor­dova al­legedly entered a first-floor rear apart­ment on the 7900 block of Lor­etto Ave. He is ac­cused of re­peatedly hit­ting the 63-year-old oc­cu­pant with an ob­ject as she res­isted his at­tempts to rip off her clothes, ac­cord­ing to Di­anne Murphy, the dis­trict’s com­munity re­la­tions of­ficer. A neigh­bor heard the vic­tim’s screams for help and dialed 911. 

The vic­tim lost her left eye, and her right eye was severely dam­aged, Murphy said.

“It was the most hein­ous in­cid­ent I’ve ever seen,” said Capt. Frank Palumbo, the 2nd Dis­trict’s com­mand­er.

The at­tack­er fled be­fore po­lice ar­rived, Murphy said, but the vic­tim, a neigh­bor and oth­er wit­nesses de­scribed him to of­ficers. Private sur­veil­lance cam­er­as po­si­tioned in the neigh­bor­hood cap­tured the im­age of a man match­ing the at­tack­er’s de­scrip­tion en­ter­ing and leav­ing the vic­tim’s apart­ment build­ing, Murphy said. Sur­veil­lance foot­age also showed the vehicle the at­tack­er was driv­ing.

The sur­veil­lance video, which might not have been avail­able just a few years ago, proved to be a big ele­ment in Cor­dova’s ar­rest less than a week later.

Murphy said video foot­age was dis­trib­uted to in­vest­ig­at­ors, the pub­lic and 2nd Dis­trict of­ficers. 

On April 17, Far­rell saw what he thought was the car parked on the 1600 block of St. Vin­cent St. as he was on his way to work, Murphy said. He no­ti­fied his part­ner, Mc­Cue, who already was on duty in plain clothes. Mc­Cue set up sur­veil­lance of the vehicle, and the of­ficers saw a man who matched the de­scrip­tion of the Rhawn­hurst wo­man’s at­tack­er enter the auto.

Mc­Cue and Far­rell stopped the car and de­tained the man. Wit­nesses were brought to the stop, and they iden­ti­fied Cor­dova, Murphy said.

Cor­dova, of the 7200 block of Hor­rocks St., is charged with at­temp­ted murder, at­temp­ted rape, ag­grav­ated as­sault and re­lated of­fenses.

Palumbo said sur­veil­lance tapes can be a big help to po­lice in solv­ing crimes. Ac­cord­ing to the Po­lice De­part­ment, of­ficers solve 30 per­cent of the crimes in which sur­veil­lance tapes are used in their in­vest­ig­a­tions. 

PDAC mem­bers will not meet in Ju­ly and Au­gust. They’ll re­sume their monthly ses­sions on Tues­day, Sept. 10, at the Phil­adelphia Prot­est­ant Home, 6500 Tabor Ave. ••

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