Elderly Pottstown Woman Nabbed After Fleeing Pot Conviction 30 Years Ago

Pottstown fugitive Janet Harden in her new mugshot photo.

Pottstown fugitive Janet Harden in her new mugshot photo.

1.7 grams of marijuana is not a lot of pot. If you’re a conservative roller, you might get two decent-sized joints out of such a paltry stash, but one Pottstown woman finds herself in a heap of trouble 30 years after she fled a conviction for smuggling that amount of the drug into a local jail. Read more »

Cops: “Potential Tragedy” Averted at Bonner & Prendergast


When a dozen or so Upper Darby police officers bounded into Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High School on Wednesday morning, a handful of students knew they were officially screwed.

Four male students and one female student ended up in handcuffs after cops found a handgun, drugs and bullets during a search of the building — an eyebrow-raising episode from a school that usually doesn’t make headlines for police activity. “We very seldom get called there,” said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood. “Obviously, they have problems like everyone else, but they must handle that stuff internally.”

So what the hell happened?  Read more »

Maybe It’s Time for Philly to Think Differently About Crime


Friends of Zakee Watkins set up this memorial near Cobbs Creek Park after he was shot and killed there in late March. Photo | David Gambacorta

In the aftermath of Philadelphia’s most recent appallingly violent weekend, familiar scenes are playing out across the city for what seems like the umpteenth time.

You know how the sequence goes: Grief-stricken family members huddle together at vigils. Stuffed animals and cheap candles pile up on sidewalks, temporary monuments to heartaches that will never fade. And someone inevitably mutters a short prayer that goes unanswered: Something has to change. 

No kidding. Philly.com reported Tuesday that the city has already recorded 329 shootings, a 44 percent jump from the same point a year ago. The homicide tally stands at 78, a 17 percent increase from last year. But this isn’t a conversation about numbers per se, because numbers always ebb and flow. Gun violence is a perpetual epidemic in this city, no matter what the murder rate looks like on any given day.

Cops, toddlers and teenagers have been among the gunshot victims so far this year. So what happens now? Do we just brace ourselves for more bloodshed, and hope that the bodies don’t pile up higher than usual? Read more »

The Philly Police Force Is Short About 400 Officers. What Does That Mean?

Philadelphia Mayor-Elect Jim Kenney, right, looks o as Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015, in Philadelphia. Kenney said he has chosen Ross to succeed Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who announced his retirement last month. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

What happens when your police force has about 400 fewer cops than expected?

That’s the question we posed to Police Commissioner Richard Ross on Friday, a couple of days after he mentioned the Philadelphia Police Department’s manpower woes while testifying at a City Council budget hearing.

The answer is troubling, at least for anyone who expects the department to respond quickly and creatively whenever the city experiences an unnerving spike in violent crime. (Take this past weekend, for example: at least 14 people were shot across the city, including a 4-year-old girl who died at the hands of her father in Kensington, and a young cop who took a bullet to the leg while trying to arrest a would-be car thief in West Philly.)  Read more »

Police Officer Shot in West Philly Sunday Night

iStockphoto.com | carlballou

iStockphoto.com | carlballou


Some additional information has to come to light about an incident that ended with a cop getting shot on Sunday.

According to law enforcement sources, the story began when three men robbed a man at 59th and Market streets, and stole the keys to the man’s Ford Expedition. The victim chased one of the suspects to the SEPTA Market-Frankford El station at 60th and Market and attacked the robber.

The two other thieves, meanwhile, walked to nearby Salford Street and tried to steal the victim’s SUV. They ended up getting into the wrong car — a Dodge Durango — by mistake. The woman who owned the Durango flagged down two Philly cops who were nearby. Things took a dramatic turn from there.


A Philadelphia police officer was shot in the leg at 59th and Market streets in West Philly on Sunday night.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Officer James McCullough and his partner were flagged down shortly before 9 p.m. by a woman at Salford and Market who told the cops two men were breaking into her car.

When the officers approached the men, they took off running. Ross said McCullough, 24, tackled one of the suspects and was “almost instantly shot in the left leg.” But the young cop kept on chasing after the suspects. He fired three shots, but didn’t strike either of the men. Read more »

15 Members of Philly’s Notorioius “TNT” Gang Busted

District Attorney Seth Williams | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

District Attorney Seth Williams | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

A grand jury investigation has led to the arrests of 15 members of a notorious North Philadelphia gang on murder, conspiracy and assault charges, District Attorney Seth Williams announced today.

Between February and June of 2014, the “TNT” Gang — nicknamed for its location, at 10th and Thompson streets — waged a vicious war with members of a rival gang that led to nine shootings in the area, including a murder that unfolded outside of the Galaxy Bar, at Germantown and Rising Sun Avenues, on June 22, 2014.

The Gun Violence Task Force — a joint partnership between the D.A.’s Office and the state Attorney General’s Office — and members of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Homicide, Criminal Intelligence and Firearms Identification units all worked to put the “TNT” crew behind bars, Williams said in a press release. Read more »

Feds: Liberian War Criminal Mohammed Jabbateh Arrested in Philadelphia

In this AP file photo, an intoxicated young rebel with the United Liberation Movement of Liberia (ULIMO), shouts while walking along the highway leading to Tubmanburg, 40 miles northwest of the capital Monrovia, Tuesday January 9, 1996.

In this AP file photo, an intoxicated young rebel with the United Liberation Movement of Liberia (ULIMO) — which prosecutors say Mohammed Jabbateh was a leader of in the 1990s — shouts while walking along the highway leading to Tubmanburg, 40 miles northwest of the capital Monrovia, Tuesday, January 9, 1996.

The United States Attorney in Philadelphia on Wednesday unsealed an indictment against 49-year-old East Lansdowne resident Mohammed Jabbateh, claiming that he was a Liberian war criminal known as “Jungle Jabbah.” He faces fraud and perjury charges stemming from his immigration to the United States in the late 1990s. Read more »

Police: Man Assaulted with Glass at Paddy Whacks on South Street

The Philadelphia police are looking for a man who they say assaulted another patron of Paddy Whacks Pub on South Street.

Police say the assault took place on February 28th, but police just released surveillance footage from the bar this afternoon. The video shows two men talking, when the suspect slams a glass into the victim’s head. He then continues punching the victim until someone, identified by police as a bar employee, breaks up the fight. (It’s broken up pretty quickly, actually!) Read more »

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