Church changes in the River Wards
Holy Name of Jesus Parish, 701 Gaul St., and Saint Laurentius Parish, 1608 E. Berks St., will merge on July 1 into Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Philadelphia.
The Rev. Joseph J. Zingaro, of St. John Canitus Parish, 4415 Almond St., will be Pastor of the new Holy Name of Jesus Parish. Saint Laurentius School, 1612 E. Berks St., will remain the same.
The Sanctuary at St. Laurentius Parish will remain available as a worship space for special events.
Also, the Rev. Francis A. Gwiaza of Saint Laurentius will retire and reside at Villa Saint Joseph in Darby.
Additionally, The Rev. Richard P. Connors, Parochial Vicar of Nativity B.V.M. Parish, 2535 E. Allegheny Ave., will leave Nativity B.V.M. July 1 to become Pastor at Saint David Parish, in Willow Grove. ••
Port Richmond man claims to be victim of home invasion
On Sunday, May 26, at approximately 2:30 a.m., a Port Richmond couple driving home from a birthday party was followed into their home by a group of attackers who reportedly beat the two, trashed their home and stole a laptop.
The male victim, a white 28-year-old delivery driver who declined to give his name due to safety concerns, resides near the intersection of Somerset and Tilton streets. He said he’s upset that Philadelphia Police Department detectives did not officially respond to the crime until Wednesday, May 29.
According to the police report on this home invasion, the male victim told police who responded on Sunday night that he had been involved in an altercation with unknown black males in the parking lot of SugarHouse Casino, and believed they were the same attackers who followed him home.
A Philadelphia police department spokeswoman said police did not take the victim’s report on Sunday night because he was intoxicated and hostile to the officers. They returned at a later unlisted date to take the victim’s report, the spokeswoman said.
The victim said after a vehicle followed him to his house, four black males exited the vehicle and chased him into his house. His girlfriend remained in his locked car while two black females who also exited the vehicle shouted at her.
While the victim struggled with attackers inside the house, his girlfriend fled the car and ran to the house. Inside, they both huddled in a first-floor bathroom and defended themselves from some blows. Their assailants overturned their furniture, took a laptop and frozen steaks from the freezer, according to the victim.
One female attacker reportedly opened their stove and stomped on the door, snapping it off, then swung it at the victims. Another attacker allegedly swung a coat rack at them. The ordeal lasted about 10 minutes, the male victim said.
While the victim acknowledged that no items of great value beyond the laptop were stolen and he and his girlfriend did not sustain injuries serious enough to require hospitalization, he believes the police did not provide sufficient attention after he reported the crime.
“I have the make and model of the car, descriptions of suspects, a partial plate … I have all this info that no one will take from me. They could’ve already caught these people, possibly,” the victim said he was thinking during the days before detectives visited his home.
During that time, the victim said, police department representatives he spoke with said he should clean up the crime scene, as fingerprints could not be taken from the home.
Detectives who later came to the scene, the victim said, did lift fingerprints and said the advice to clean the crime scene was improper.
The victim said that he personally is aware of three other robberies recently occurring near his home. ••
SugarHouse expansion approved
SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown recently had its plans for a $155 million expansion approved unanimously by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
That means the casino can now expand its floor space to include a 35-table poker room, add a banquet and event space, set up two high-end restaurants and four other food options, erect a parking garage and build a bike trail on the Delaware River.
SugarHouse estimates that the expansion will create 1,600 construction jobs and 450 new permanent jobs at the casino.
Once completed, the expansion will also trigger the casino’s obligation to increase their contributions to the community in the 19125 ZIP code from $500,000 a year to $1 million.
Those funds are disbursed through the Penn Treaty Special Services District and are part of the terms brokered in a community benefit agreement before SugarHouse was built. ••