Neighborhood news in brief for the week of June 5

Changes in River Wards churches; home in­va­sion in Port Rich­mond; an ex­pand­ing Sug­ar­House.

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. ••

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