With wounded Philadelphia Police Officer Edward Davies showing signs of recovery last week, an alleged heroin dealer was ordered to stand trial for trying to assassinate him.
Municipal Court Judge James M. DeLeon on Sept. 4 ordered Eric Torres to stand trial for attempted murder, four counts of aggravated assault and many other offenses.
Three of Davies’ fellow police officers testified at the preliminary hearing about how Torres, 31, of the 400 block of W. Raymond St. in Feltonville, allegedly fled a traffic stop, crashed his car, ducked into a corner store near his home and struggled with police before shooting Davies in the abdomen on Aug. 13.
Officer William Barr was the first to encounter Torres that day as he stopped Torres’ car at Fifth Street and Allegheny Avenue for a traffic violation. Authorities claim that Torres handed his ID to Barr, but then drove off. Barr followed Torres in his police car briefly, but discontinued his pursuit before Torres crashed near Bristol Street and Rising Sun Avenue, authorities claim.
Officer Emil Bucceroni was one of several cops who encountered Torres minutes later inside a corner store at Fourth and West Ansbury streets. Bucceroni reportedly described Torres in court as “freakishly strong” and testified that the suspect struggled with officers for “five to 10 minutes, but [it] seemed like an eternity.”
Bucceroni reportedly testified that Torres was on the floor with four officers standing over him and trying to handcuff him. Bucceroni said he did not see Torres’ gun, a .45-caliber Glock, but when the officer grabbed for the suspect’s hands, he felt the barrel of the weapon. At that instant, the gun fired. The bullet struck Davies in the abdomen, below his protective ballistic vest.
Assistant District Attorney Ed Jaramillo reportedly argued for the attempted murder charge because Torres’ finger was on the trigger. DeLeon agreed.
Officer Brian Myers testified at last week’s hearing that narcotics investigators recovered heroin worth $11,000 from the car that Torres crashed as well as Torres’ residence after the shooting.
Torres remains in custody without bail at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility and is scheduled for a Common Pleas Court arraignment on Sept. 25.
On the same day as the preliminary hearing, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 President John McNesby posted via Facebook that Davies “looks like a new man. He is alert and sitting up, communicating and walking. Seems in good spirits. He is improving every day.”
Davies remains hospitalized. The 25th district patrol officer underwent several surgeries to treat his injuries and had a kidney removed. ••