Chesco Attacker Had Jumped Fence at White House

The person responsible for Tuesday’s attack at the Chester County Justice Center was Coatesville man arrested last spring for jumping a fence at the White House.

“The suspect is identified as Curtis Smith of Coatesville, Pa.,” 6ABC reports. “Investigators say Smith entered the Justice Center around 12 p.m. with a knife, and attacked a sheriff’s deputy, slashing him.” Another deputy returned fire; Smith was later declared dead at Paoli Hospital, according to reports. Read more »

Dear Philly Bars and Restaurants: If You See This Guy Coming, Lock Your Doors

Michael Villalpando at Jose Pistola's (left) and in his most recent mugshot photo (right).

Michael Villalpando at Jose Pistola’s (left) and in his most recent mugshot photo (right).

Just when we had all but forgotten about the strange tale of accused serial restaurant thief Janeen Thomas — but we’ll get back to her in a minute — comes another strange tale of a strange person who is accused of stealing from restaurants: Michael Villalpando. Read more »

Sexual Assault at Port Richmond’s Graffiti Pier Yesterday

A corridor at Graffiti Pier. | Photo by Liz Spikol

A corridor at Graffiti Pier. | Photo by Liz Spikol

Since Conrail moved its coal-carrying operations to Baltimore in the early ’90s, Pier 124 has been a hulking, abandoned ruin at the edge of Port Richmond. Yet graffiti artists from all over the region have given the concrete walls and passageways a second life, making it a vertiable museum of street art, sort of an unsanctioned version of Miami’s Wynnewood Walls. The post-industrial site has become so popular, it attracts sightseers as well as artists.

Perhaps the three people who were at the Pier yesterday were looking at the art; perhaps they were making it. Their names have not been released. But here’s what we do know: Read more »

Suspect Sought in Old City TD Bank Robbery

Photo | Philadelphia Police Department

Photo | Philadelphia Police Department

Philadelphia Police and the FBI are seeking a man who allegedly robbed the TD Bank branch on the 300 block of Market Street in Old City.

Around 1:40 pm Thursday, the man — 6 feet tall, black, wearing a grey sweatshirt and white True Religion baseball cap, and sporting a mustache and goatee — handed the TD teller a demand note and then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police. The “Wanted” poster can be seen here. Read more »

Homeless Man Charged in Brutal Beating of 53-Year-Old Philadelphia Trans Woman

Marcus Jones has been charged with attempted murder of a trans woman.

Marcus Jones has been charged with attempted murder of a trans woman.

A 53-year-old trans woman was attacked on the 900 block of North Watts Street on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 18th, Philadelphia Police announced today. The victim was transported to Hahnemann Hospital where she is in critical condition.

The attack was caught via surveillance video, according to police officials, where the attacker is seen repeatedly punching and kicking the victim until she was unconscious. After the victim “lay motionless on the ground, the offender stomped on the complainant’s head several times” and grabbed the victim’s purse. Read more »

Why Indicted Congressman Chaka Fattah Will Probably Win Reelection*

Chaka Fattah | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

Chaka Fattah | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah had his first day in court Tuesday, and it was an absolute circus. The 20-year Congressman didn’t simply declare that he was innocent. He fiercely went after prosecutors, made irrelevant remarks about the Eagles to reporters, and told a federal judge that he was not guilty long before it was the appropriate time to enter a plea.

This scene, believe or not, underlines just how difficult it will be for a challenger to defeat Fattah in his bid for reelection next year.

At first blush, one might think Fattah is done politically, no matter how his case turns out. He has been charged with bribery, racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering, bank fraud and more for, among other things, allegedly using public dollars and charitable donations to pay back an illegal $1 million loan to his failed 2007 mayoral campaign. Plus, a qualified candidate is already nipping at his heels: Daniel Muroff, a Democratic ward leader who has worked on Capitol Hill, filed paperwork last week to run against Fattah in the April primary.

But it will be enormously challenging for Muroff or anyone else to defeat Fattah. Here’s why:
Read more »

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