Aug. 14 was not a particularly typical day in the neighborhood.
At about 10:30 that morning, 2nd District Police Officer Richard Holland was holding Officer Ned Felici by his belt as Felici leaned out a third-floor bedroom window to pull in a 2-year-old who was dangling from high-voltage electrical wires 30 feet in the air.
Felici got hold of the child and handed him to Holland.
The extraordinary rescue had begun just moments before, Community Relations Officer Dianne Murphy last week told members of the 2nd Police District Advisory Council.
Felici and Holland were on routine patrol after 10 a.m., Murphy told PDAC members Oct. 8, when they got a radio call for a hospital case on the 1300 block of Wells St. When they arrived on the block, the two saw the child on the wires.
There was no hesitation, Murphy said. The officers kicked in a basement door to get into the house, ran upstairs and forced open a door to a kitchen, raced up more stairs to a third-floor bedroom and had to force open still another door before they could get to the window and the child.
The account drew a round of applause from PDAC members, who honored Holland and Felici as the district’s August Officers of the Month.
Capt. Frank Palumbo, the 2nd’s commander, said the district, which is in the Lower Northeast, west of the Boulevard, has seen 55 burglaries in the past month. Numerous burglaries have been committed in Summerdale and Lawncrest, he said.
“Some outstanding arrests,” the captain said, have gotten some of the burglars off the streets. Burglars are targeting vacant foreclosed properties to harvest copper pipes they can sell to scrap yards.
On the arrested suspects, he said, police have found multiple keys, maps and lists of foreclosed or bank-owned properties.
Street robberies, especially around Northeast High and Fels, have been a problem, the captain said. There recently have been 22 gunpoint robberies and 22 strong-arm robberies in the district.
Palumbo said, however, officers have had some success in curbing the crimes around the two schools.
Also, he said, there seems to be a war going on between drug gangs based in Olney and Lawncrest.
“I think they’re robbing each other and shooting each other,” the captain said.
Truck parking on local streets, which is illegal, has been a frequent complaint voiced at PDAC meetings over the past few years.
“When we see them, we ticket them,” Murphy said, but she and the captain added the $41 citation seems to be little deterrent because it might be cheaper for the truckers than paying for legal parking.
PDAC members will not meet in November. Their next session will be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the Philadelphia Protestant Home, 6500 Tabor Ave. ••