A 15-year-old boy has been charged in the seemingly unprovoked beating of a man outside a Fox Chase pizza parlor on Nov. 11 while authorities continue to investigate the motive for the attack.
Philadelphia police arrested the youth near the scene of the crime at about 6 p.m. last Thursday. Patrol cops identified the youth based on a physical description provided by the 29-year-old victim. Police have not identified the youth or the victim publicly.
The attack occurred at about 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11. The victim was walking into Verree Pizza at 7959 Verree Road when he passed a group of young people and one of the teens asked him for a cigarette. As the man handed a cigarette to one of the youths, three or four males jumped him, police said. They punched and kicked him repeatedly.
The victim was hospitalized with bruises and cuts to his head, face and eyes.
Two young women were in the company of the attackers, police said. All fled the scene after the beating.
The 15-year-old has been charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy and related offenses. Authorities have released no information about other suspects.
During the bimonthly meeting of the Fox Chase Homeowners Association and Town Watch on Nov. 13, neighbors complained about a group of young people loitering routinely in the area of Verree Road and Rhawn Street but reported nothing about a beating. Neighbors said that they did not recognize any of the loiterers as local residents.
A man identifying himself as the victim in the Nov. 11 attack told a TV news station that the thugs took nothing from him, so robbery didn’t appear to be a motive.
Police have not commented on whether the beating may have involved a copycat scenario in which the young people were inspired by recent news media and Internet-based reports of similar unprovoked attacks across the country. ••