Eric Frein Arraigned, Held Without Bail

Eric Frein mugshot

UPDATE: A police source told Action News that Eric Frein confessed to the killing of Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson in September. Frein also confessed to wounding Trooper Alex Douglass in the same shooting, per the station.

Frein does not yet have an attorney. He’s due back in court for a preliminary hearing on November 12th.

EARLIER: Eric Frein, the man captured yesterday after a 48-day manhunt, was arraigned Friday morning and held without bail. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.

He is accused of killing Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass last month in a seemingly random attack. When Frein was taken out after arraignment Friday, members of the crowd chanted “rot in hell” at him.

At a press conference after Frein’s arraignment, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens updated reporters on the capture. “This was not a result of a tip or a sighting,” Bivens said. “This was a result of the continued pressure put on Frein by law enforcement.” U.S. Marshals surprised Frein as part of a routine sweep on Thursday.

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The Philadelphia Outrage Meter for the Week Ending October 31st

Philadelphia’s outrage shifted precipitously last night with the announcement that Little Pete’s could be demolished; the parking garage the diner currently occupies the ground-floor corner of is slated to be demolished and turned into a luxury hotel. It’s all very sad (except for the part about the elimination of a parking garage downtown). As such, a full 89 percent of Philadelphian outrage is coming over the possible closure of Little Pete’s.

Elsewhere, resentment lingers. Some people are still mad at the PPA for its war with Uber over its UberX service. It included a sting operation, though the impounded UberX cars have since been released. That’s 9 percent.

Finally, just 2 percent of people in the area are angry about Chris Christie canceling Halloween due to Ebola. Of course, Christie has done no such thing, but that hasn’t stopped people on Twitter and Facebook from freaking out about it.

Equipment Manager Pulls Snake Prank on Flyers

To celebrate Halloween, Flyers head equipment manager Derek Settlemyre pulled a prank on the team’s players with a “special Gatorade cooler with special ingredients.” Inside the cooler, which he says was passed around the NFL, NBA and NHL, there’s a rubber snake instead of Gatorade.

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Philadelphia Sued Over City Council Speech Rules

"Justice" engraved on Philadelphia's City Hall

Photo | Jeff Fusco

A Philadelphia man has sued the city in federal court over the public comment rules at City Council meetings.

Patrick Duff, 38, argues city policy on public comment at City Council meetings violates the First Amendment and the state’s Sunshine Act. Duff’s lawsuit says city policy only allows for public comment on topics on the City Council agenda. Duff believes the city must allow citizens to comment on any subject at City Council meetings.

Four years ago, a lawsuit forced the city to have public comment at City Council meetings at all. For the past 60 years, City Council had limited public comments to committee meetings, rather than its general sessions.

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Report: SEPTA Buses Have Dangerous Mirror Flaw

SEPTAbus48-driving-behind-taxiAll week Action News has been promoting a story about a “deadly bus flaw” with SEPTA buses, a flaw that is so dangerous the station had to wait until Thursday night to tell us about it.

But last night’s report did not disappoint: Channel 6 reports SEPTA internal memos say the left-side bus mirror has about a 5-foot blind spot. “In my estimation there could be a thousand close calls a day out there,” Ed Ruth, a former SEPTA bus driver, told the station.

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Slender Man Is The Most Popular Halloween Costume in Pennsylvania, Apparently

Map via SumoCoupon | Slender Man image: By mdl70 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/8459320@N03/) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Costume map via SumoCoupon | Slender Man image: mdl70 [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a Halloween costume that’s trending in Pennsylvania, and it’s not a ghost or witch or goblin or Sexy Fan Fiction Claude Giroux (that’s who I was last year). It’s … Slender Man!

Slender Man is part of a weird piece of collaborative Internet horror fiction called creepypasta. It began as a thread on the Something Awful Forums, as part of a “paranormal pictures” Photoshop thread, and evolved into a tall, thin man with tentacles wearing a suit. (There’s no set description, per the nature of the collaborative creepypasta — the word evolved from “copy and paste.”) Slender Man has actually been blamed for inspiring many attacks, including a horrifying stabbing of a 12-year-old girl by two of her classmates.

So, yeah, that’s the most-searched Halloween costume in Pennsylvania according to the blog of SumoCoupon, which is not a blog where you get discounts on mawashi.

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Christie, Protester Discuss Fallout From ‘Shut Up’ Incident

Both Chris Christie and protester Jim Keady are talking after an incident earlier this week where Christie told Keady to “sit down and shut up.” And things seem to be working out for both of them! Ahh, politics.

Keady, for his part, is doing the rounds on national media using this line: “I’m a 6-foot-4, 215-pound former pro-athlete. I’m not going to be bullied by him.” Which is not only a clever line, but reminds you he used to be a professional athlete! (He was the backup to U.S. goalkeeping legend Tim Howard for the North Jersey Imperials in the 1990s.)

Keady’s also gotten a lot of attention for his group, Finish the Job, which advocates that Christie has not done enough for Superstorm Sandy relief. “His administration is sitting on $800 million of taxpayer money that was supposed to go to our fellow New Jerseyans,” Keady told Bloomberg. Now people all over the country know about Keady!

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State Sen. Washington Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge

As expected, on Thursday State Senator LeAnna Washington pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conflict of interest. She was charged with using her office to plan birthday parties for herself that doubled as political fundraisers.

Washington, who is also being sued by her former chief of staff, said she was “sorry” in court.

Washington avoided jail time by pleading guilty; she was sentenced to three months of home confinement, 57 months probation and must pay $200,000 in restitution. The state dropped a theft of services charge.

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Seventh-Grader Charged With Making Bomb Threats

A 12-year-old girl in Chester County has been charged with making two bomb threats at Kennett Middle School earlier this year.

Police in New Garden say the student, a seventh grader, went to school administrators on September 30th reporting a threatening word written on a bathroom wall. Cops treated it as a non-specific threat (“best described as an alarming word or phrase with no specific detail,” per police). A search of the school turned up no explosives.

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Philadelphia City Council Passes Hate Crimes Bill

Philadelphia City Council today unanimously passed a hate crimes bill that adds additional penalties for criminal conduct motivated by hate for someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The bill was introduced after the assault on a gay couple in Center City last month.

Pennsylvania does not include sexual orientation in its hate crimes law.

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