A North Philadelphia man accused of kidnapping two other men for ransom, shooting both and dumping them in Crescentville waived his preliminary hearing on May 27. Ken Thomas, 24, faces charges of murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, kidnapping, weapons violations and conspiracy. Authorities have not disclosed whom Thomas may have conspired with in the crime.
Burholme resident Denzel Mendoza was just blocks from his home when he flipped his car and crashed into a house early Sunday morning, leaving a woman passenger with critical injuries and himself behind bars.
A veteran firefighter from Lawncrest’s Engine 64 perished early Tuesday while battling a West Oak Lane basement fire. Joyce Craig-Lewis, 36, is the first woman firefighter to die in the line of duty in Philadelphia, Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
A police investigation into an alleged small-time drug deal led to a vehicle pursuit that ended in a violent crash on Roosevelt Boulevard near Langdon Street on Friday night. No serious injuries were reported in the episode, although two officers from the 15th district reported minor injuries, as did an innocent motorist. It all began at about 10:30 p.m. near Frankford Avenue and Dyre Street when patrol cops spotted what appeared to be an open-air drug transaction. The officers moved in to investigate the suspected dealer, who broke free and allegedly jumped into a running Cadillac Escalade. As the suspect drove away, he reportedly dragged two of the officers a short distance.
A 57-year-old Bustleton man was hospitalized in “extremely critical” condition, police said, after a neighbor who was identified as his daughter’s fiance fired dozens of shots from a high-powered rifle in a driveway behind their homes last Thursday evening.
Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series about the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5. Part 2 examines the labor union’s fundraising, its escalating political program and its development of a multimillion-dollar headquarters in the Northeast.