Neighborhood news in brief

A pos­sible River Wards his­tory mu­seum; 'slum­lord mil­lion­aire' sen­tenced to pris­on, and a former cop from Port Rich­mond charged with rape.

Pos­sible River Wards his­tory mu­seum in the works

A por­tion of the River Wards’ his­tory is already com­piled on­line, at the on­line-only Penn Treaty Mu­seum, pen­ntreatymu­ Now, Penn Treaty Mu­seum Board mem­bers have launched an ef­fort to build the brick-and-mor­tar Penn Treaty Edu­ca­tion­al In­sti­tute, ac­cord­ing to Plan­Philly.

Steve Tull, vice pres­id­ent of ar­che­ology and ar­chi­tec­tur­al his­tory for URS Cor­por­a­tion, said the his­tory mu­seum would hap­pen “with­in three or for years.”

The in­sti­tute would con­tain the his­tory of the people of what is now Fishtown, Kens­ing­ton, North­ern Liber­ties, Port Rich­mond and oth­er com­munit­ies, Tull said.

John Con­nors, who foun­ded the on­line Penn Treaty Mu­seum, has held show­ings of his­tor­ic­al items he’s col­lec­ted in a build­ing he owns at 900 E. Columbia Ave., which will likely be the Penn Treaty Edu­ca­tion­al In­sti­tute’s first home after un­der­go­ing renov­a­tions. The cost of the pro­ject has yet to be de­term­ined.

Gath­er­ing years of loc­al his­tory in­to mod­ern dis­plays would al­low stu­dents from ele­ment­ary to the gradu­ate level to do re­search there, Tull said. A web­site with some of the di­git­al com­pon­ents is ex­pec­ted to be fin­ished by late sum­mer, he said.

The on­line Penn Treaty Mu­seum web­site also dis­plays im­ages of the pho­to­graphs, doc­u­ments and ob­jects that would be on per­man­ent dis­play at the fu­ture Penn Treaty Edu­ca­tion­al In­sti­tute. ••

Port Rich­mond and Kens­ing­ton ‘slum­lord mil­lion­aire’ gets six years

The Phil­adelphia Daily News re­por­ted Fri­day that Robert N. Coyle, Sr., “a no­tori­ous Phil­adelphia slum­lord” was sen­tenced to six years in fed­er­al pris­on, fol­lowed by five years of su­per­vised realease, for de­fraud­ing banks of more than $10 mil­lion.

Coyle grew up in Kens­ing­ton only to be­come a land­lord there. In 1997, Coyle op­er­ated Land­vest and a re­por­ted nine oth­er com­pan­ies out of a row home of­fice in Port Rich­mond. He ren­ted out nearly 300 homes and ob­tained more than $15 mil­lion in bank loans. He offered low-in­come people rent-to-own agree­ments along with rent agree­ments, and lied to banks about prop­erty titles and in­come from homes, The Daily News re­por­ted.

Coyle pleaded guilty to two counts of loan fraud in Oc­to­ber 2012, and was ordered to pay $6.5 mil­lion in resti­tu­tion, but told the court he is “broke.” He must re­port to pris­on Ju­ly 8.

In a state­ment re­leased by the of­fice of Coun­cil­wo­man María Quiñones Sánchez, (D-7th dist.) Jen­nifer Kates, Esq. said, “I hope this case is in­flu­en­tial in de­ter­ring sim­il­ar activ­it­ies by Mr. Coyle and oth­ers in the fu­ture, and hope that scru­tiny is ex­ten­ded as well to the lend­ing prac­tices that fa­cil­it­ated this in­cred­ibly de­struct­ive scam.” ••

Former ‘hero’ cop from Port Rich­mond charged with rape

A former Phil­adelphia po­lice of­ficer once called a hero and giv­en a seat next to Michelle Obama at a speech by the Pres­id­ent has been ar­res­ted and charged after po­lice say he raped two wo­men at gun­point, ac­cord­ing to CBS Philly.

Au­thor­it­ies say that former of­ficer Richard De­Coats­worth, who lives on the 2700 block of Sal­mon Street, left a party with two wo­men early Thursday and took them to an­oth­er loc­a­tion, where they al­lege that he pulled out a hand­gun and “forced the two fe­males to en­gage in the use of nar­cot­ics and sexu­al acts.”

A po­lice spokes­wo­man said the two called po­lice after he left, and the 27-year-old De­Coats­worth was later ar­res­ted. De­Coats­worth was ar­raigned Sat­urday night on charges in­clud­ing rape, in­vol­un­tary de­vi­ate sexu­al in­ter­course, traf­fick­ing of per­sons, false im­pris­on­ment and ag­grav­ated as­sault.

His bail was set at $60 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Phil­adelphia Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s of­fice.

De­Coats­worth was hailed as a hero in 2007 after he was shot in the face with a shot­gun dur­ing a traffic stop but still was able to chase down the sus­pects as they fled, CBS Philly re­ports.

De­Coats­worth was in­vited by Vice Pres­id­ent Joe Biden to at­tend the pres­id­ent’s tele­vised Feb­ru­ary 2009 ad­dress to Con­gress and sat with First Lady Michelle Obama. WCAU-TV, which first re­por­ted his ar­rest, said De­Coats­worth re­tired from the de­part­ment on dis­ab­il­ity in Decem­ber 2011.

Law en­force­ment sources told The Daily News that De­Coats­worth was ar­res­ted about 6:30 a.m. Sat­urday in­side a house on Al­mond Street near Somer­set in Port Rich­mond.

The former cop has also been ac­cused of har­ass­ing a couple in Port Rich­mond in Janu­ary 2012, ac­cord­ing to The Phil­adelphia In­quirer.

Of­ficers raided De­Coats­worth’s house, where they found guns and drugs, ac­cord­ing to po­lice sources. It was un­clear what the drugs were at that time. ••

-Com­piled by Mi­kala Jam­is­on

You can reach at

comments powered by Disqus