Northeast Times

Fourth suspect to stand trail in stabbing case

Teen to stand trial for March 21 knife attack where three Father Judge students were stabbed.

A fourth young man has been ordered to stand tri­al in con­nec­tion with the March 21 stabbing of three Fath­er Judge High stu­dents, in­clud­ing state cham­pi­on wrest­ler Joe Galasso, in a May­fair street at­tack.

Ry­an Palen, 18, waived his right to a pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing in the Ju­ven­ile Branch of the city’s Fam­ily Court on May 7 and was held for tri­al on three ag­grav­ated as­sault charges, along with three counts each of con­spir­acy, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment and simple as­sault. He is also charged with pos­sess­ing an in­stru­ment of crime.

Fam­ily Court is the di­vi­sion of the city’s Com­mon Pleas Court which handles cases in­volving ju­ven­ile de­fend­ants or vic­tims. In this case, the pro­sec­u­tion is seek­ing to try the de­fend­ants as adults.

Last week’s hear­ing fol­lowed an April 11 ses­sion dur­ing which Fam­ily Court Judge James Mur­ray Lynn held three oth­er de­fend­ants for tri­al, in­clud­ing Hel­lena An­dro, 20; John Far­rell, 19; and Tyler Bollinger, 18; while dis­miss­ing charges against two oth­ers. The judge cited lack of evid­ence for the dis­missals.

A pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing for a sev­enth de­fend­ant, Ed­ward Far­rell, 17, was post­poned un­til May 28 at the re­quest of de­fense at­tor­ney Ron Green­blatt.

The al­leged knife at­tack oc­curred at about 11 p.m. in front of Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln High School. Ac­cord­ing to an ini­tial po­lice re­port, Joe Galasso, his cous­in James Galasso and their friend Tom Bay­er — all seni­ors at Fath­er Judge — were walk­ing to­geth­er along the 7500 block of Row­land Ave. when they passed an­oth­er group of at least sev­en teens and young adults.

A mem­ber of the lar­ger group al­legedly threw a glass bottle that struck one of the vic­tims in the head and promp­ted an ar­gu­ment, then a phys­ic­al fight, po­lice said. In the mel­ee, the Galas­sos and Bay­er were each stabbed in vari­ous parts of the body. The at­tack­ers ran away.

Po­lice re­ceived mul­tiple 911 calls about the al­ter­ca­tion and found the in­jured vic­tims at the scene. Two of the teens were taken to Aria Health-Tor­res­dale, while a third was taken to St. Chris­toph­er’s Hos­pit­al for Chil­dren. All have been re­leased from the hos­pit­al and are re­cov­er­ing from vary­ing in­jur­ies.

In the early stages of the in­vest­ig­a­tion, wit­nesses helped po­lice identi­fy the sus­pec­ted at­tack­ers, most of whom al­legedly had gathered in­side a house on the 3400 block of Lans­ing St. Po­lice ar­res­ted six of the de­fend­ants there, then ar­res­ted a sev­enth a short time later on the 3400 block of Shelmire Ave.

Bollinger, Ed­ward Far­rell and a third de­fend­ant whose case was dis­missed were 17 at the time. The oth­er four de­fend­ants were adults.

The five re­main­ing de­fend­ants all face the same charges as Palen, with John Far­rell charged ad­di­tion­ally with hinder­ing ap­pre­hen­sion.

John Far­rell, Ed­ward Far­rell and Bollinger re­main jailed at city pris­ons in lieu of bail. An­dro is free after post­ing 10 per­cent of $30,000 bail. Palen was freed from pris­on on un­se­cured bail but will be on house ar­rest with elec­tron­ic mon­it­or­ing pending tri­al. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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