Maximum sentence given for mugging elderly woman

Frank­ford’s Ant­o­nio San­ti­ago was sen­tenced to 20 to 40 years in pris­on for bru­tally mug­ging a 93-year-old wo­man on East­er Sunday in ’12.

Ant­o­nio San­ti­ago

A Phil­adelphia judge last week “threw the book” at a Frank­ford man who bru­tally mugged a 93-year-old wo­man out­side the Bell’s Corner Shop­ping Cen­ter on East­er Sunday 2012, ac­cord­ing to the pro­sec­utor in the case.

Ant­o­nio San­ti­ago, 30, of the 2200 block of Kennedy St. earned the max­im­um pos­sible sen­tence of 20 to 40 years in pris­on, ac­cord­ing to As­sist­ant Dis­trict At­tor­ney Mark Gilson. Com­mon Pleas Court Judge Robert P. Cole­man re­portedly de­scribed San­ti­ago’s ac­tions on April 8, 2012, as “crime against hu­man­ity.”

Es­telle DiC­a­millo, then 93, had taken a SEPTA bus to church that day and was walk­ing home at about 2 p.m. when San­ti­ago at­tacked her in the shop­ping cen­ter’s park­ing lot. Sur­veil­lance video later re­covered by po­lice showed San­ti­ago cas­ing the area for an hour pri­or to the strong-arm rob­bery, dur­ing which he pulled the vic­tim to the ground, broke her arm in three places and caused her nu­mer­ous cuts and bruises.

“[He was] just circ­ling and wait­ing for the vic­tim to come along. He was really a pred­at­or,” Gilson said after the June 18 sen­ten­cing hear­ing.

The in­jur­ies suffered by the vic­tim launched a chain of events that rendered her home­bound and un­able to care for her­self, ac­cord­ing to the pro­sec­utor. While in re­cov­ery for her in­jur­ies, DiC­a­millo fell and broke her hip. She is still cop­ing with the phys­ic­al and emo­tion­al pain of the crime.

“Up un­til this day, this wo­man was in good health. She lived alone. She was able to take care of her­self, cook for her­self,” Gilson said. “She walked with the help of a cane and took pub­lic trans­it to go wherever she needed to go.

“[Now] she lives in fear. She has night­mares about the in­cid­ent.”

San­ti­ago main­tained his in­no­cence throughout his non­jury tri­al and sen­ten­cing. He told the court that he might look like the rob­ber in the sur­veil­lance video, but it is not him. He asked Cole­man for mercy.

With one pri­or felony rob­bery con­vic­tion on his re­cord, San­ti­ago qual­i­fied as a second-strike of­fend­er, mean­ing that he faced man­dat­ory min­im­ums of 10 to 20 years in pris­on for each of two of­fenses — rob­bery and ag­grav­ated as­sault.

Cole­man op­ted to is­sue the terms con­sec­ut­ively to max­im­ize San­ti­ago’s pris­on time. Ac­cord­ing to Gilson, the de­fend­ant could face ad­di­tion­al court sanc­tions for vi­ol­at­ing the terms of his pa­role re­lated to his earli­er rob­bery con­vic­tion. A pa­role vi­ol­a­tion hear­ing has not been sched­uled. •• 

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