Northeast Times

Four police officers honored by 2nd PDAC

Kev­in Doerr and Sean King had a busy Decem­ber. The 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict of­ficers made ar­rests in a couple of shoot­ings and bus­ted two people now charged in con­nec­tion with a string of burg­lar­ies. Of­ficers Steph­en Nagy and Ron­ald Cain quickly got hold of two sus­pects who had robbed a man at a Castor Av­en­ue bus stop.

All four patrol­men were honored as Of­ficers of the Month by mem­bers of the 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil dur­ing their March 11 meet­ing at the Phil­adelphia Prot­est­ant Home on Tabor Av­en­ue.

At about 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 25, a man wait­ing for a bus on the 6700 block of Castor Av­en­ue was ap­proached by three men, one of whom pulled out a hand­gun and said, “Give me your money.” Ac­cord­ing to Com­munity Re­la­tions Of­ficer Di­anne Murphy, a second man re­moved head­phones, a cell phone and $2 from the vic­tim’s pock­ets. At that point, the vic­tim lunged for the armed man and tried to pull his shirt over his head while try­ing to knock the gun out of his hand. For his trouble, the vic­tim was punched sev­er­al times, but not shot. The two men in­volved in the rob­bery then fled north on Castor.

The vic­tim was able to call 911. Nagy and Cain heard a flash re­port of the rob­bery, and they spot­ted two men who matched the de­scrip­tion of the rob­bers on the 6900 block of Castor. The vic­tim was brought to that block and iden­ti­fied the men who robbed him. Both were charged with ag­grav­ated as­sault and rob­bery as well as weapons of­fenses. Po­lice didn’t re­port what be­came of the third man, who didn’t par­ti­cip­ate in the rob­bery. Murphy iden­ti­fied one of the ar­res­ted men as Chris­toph­er Ort­iz, 21, of New Castle, Del. He re­mains in cus­tody at the Phil­adelphia In­dus­tri­al Cor­rec­tion­al Cen­ter on State Road.

On Dec. 4, Doerr and King searched for and ar­res­ted a man wanted for a shoot­ing that took place on Nov. 30 on the 500 block of Al­cott St. The two cops tracked down their sus­pect, George Sewell, 18, of Carv­er Street, as he was com­ing out of a res­id­ence on the 400 block of Sanger Street. Murphy said Sewell had been ar­res­ted many times and has been iden­ti­fied as a mem­ber of the Lawn­crest Boys, a group that op­er­ates around the Lawn­crest Re­cre­ation Cen­ter.

Sewell, who turned 18 in Janu­ary, is be­ing held in the Cur­ran-From­hold Cor­rec­tion­al Fa­cil­ity on State Road. He is fa­cing ag­grav­ated as­sault and weapons charges.

On Dec. 5, King and Doerr chased down a man wanted for shoot­ing at a group of wo­men on the 800 block of Brill Street on Oct. 25. The two cops chased Melvin But­ler, 45, on foot from Bridge and Sum­mer­dale and caught up to him on the 900 block of Bridge, Murphy said. Found on But­ler, she said, was a loaded semi­auto­mat­ic hand­gun. He was charged with ag­grav­ated as­sault, weapons of­fenses and marijuana pos­ses­sion. 

But­ler, of the 5000 block of Roosevelt Boulevard, is free on bail and await­ing an April hear­ing.

Overnight on Dec. 27, Doerr and King were keep­ing an eye on a stor­age fa­cil­ity on the 6200 block of Ox­ford Av­en­ue, where there had been mul­tiple burg­lar­ies over sev­er­al months, Murphy said. The of­ficers had re­viewed the fa­cil­ity’s se­cur­ity foot­age and saw a man scal­ing a fence and mov­ing mer­chand­ise to a stor­age lock­er. They also no­ticed a wo­man en­ter­ing in a vehicle to help the man re­move items.

While watch­ing the place on Dec. 27, they saw the man they re­cog­nized from the sur­veil­lance re­cord­ings mov­ing stolen items around in a shop­ping cart. They ar­res­ted 18-year-old Petty Weche of the 1000 block of Ros­a­lie Street and charged him with five burg­lar­ies. Po­lice are fur­ther in­vest­ig­at­ing Weche in re­gard to oth­er burg­lar­ies in the North­east, Murphy said.

Ac­cord­ing to court re­cords, Weche re­mains in cus­tody at the Cur­ran-From­hold Cor­rec­tion­al Fa­cil­ity.

“We’ve had a ter­rible Janu­ary,” Capt. Frank Palumbo, the 2nd’s com­mand­er, told PDAC mem­bers.

There were sev­er­al hom­icides in Lawn­crest, he said, adding, “Hope­fully, we’ll make ar­rests in all the in­cid­ents we’ve had.”

There have been six murders in the new year in that neigh­bor­hood. One in­volved a moth­er and son shot in their home. Three men were killed in one in­cid­ent, and a man sit­ting in a parked car was fatally shot.

Palumbo said po­lice vis­ib­il­ity has in­creased in the area. There are more bike patrols and more nar­cot­ics in­vest­ig­at­ors in the neigh­bor­hood. He said there is a task force of in­vest­ig­at­ors look­ing in­to the re­peated rob­ber­ies of the Wawa at Bustleton and the Boulevard. The store was robbed so of­ten in the overnight hours that it is no longer open dur­ing those times. Palumbo said po­lice be­lieve the cul­prit lives nearby.

Area busi­ness own­ers should sign up for the Po­lice De­part­ment’s Sa­fe­Cam pro­gram, the cap­tain said. Po­lice re­gister privately owned sur­veil­lance cam­er­as, and will ask own­ers for foot­age that might per­tain to area crime. Own­ers will not be ob­lig­ated to testi­fy in court. Al­though the city has hun­dreds of cam­er­as that po­lice can tap in­to, in­vest­ig­at­ors can’t go live in­to privately owned sys­tems. They can ask for foot­age. Po­lice said many crimes have been solved by re­view­ing private se­cur­ity re­cord­ings. To re-gister, vis­it sa­fe­cam.philly­po­lice.com.

The PDAC’s next meet­ing will be 7 p.m. on Tues­day, April 8, at the Phil­adelphia Prot­est­ant Home, 6500 Tabor Ave. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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