Entries in Philadephia (6)


Man Accused of Dragging Woman onto Philadelphia Subway Tracks

ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) -- Philadelphia police said they have arrested the suspect caught on surveillance video attacking and dragging a woman across a train station platform before throwing her onto the tracks.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) arrested William Clark at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, 48 hours after he allegedly attacked Alexis Wilson, 23, on a subway platform in the Chinatown section of Philadelphia.  Wilson was left with minor injuries.

Police plan to charge Clark, 36, with aggravated assault.

"Thank God she wasn't knocked unconscious in that track area," SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestell said in a news conference Thursday.

Police say Clark walked up to Wilson, who was sitting and waiting for a train on Tuesday at about 3:20 p.m.  Police say the suspect asked her for a lighter, which she gave to him.  After waiting a few seconds, Clark allegedly grabbed her by the neck and repeatedly punched the woman in the face.

Clark proceeded to drag Wilson by her feet across the train station platform toward the tracks, police said.  After he tossed her into the tracks, the suspect casually walked back to the train station bench and snatched her cellphone, police said.  Wilson climbed back onto the platform.

When Clark was arrested on Thursday, he was wearing the same multicolored jacket that was observed in the surveillance video.  The jacket had the words, "Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resorts," according to police.

"A sergeant from the transit police observed this individual and he was apprehended still in possession of the victim's phone and wearing that jacket," police chief Nestell said.

Police said they have not identified a motive.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Police: Angry Ex-Girlfriend Triggered US Airways Bomb Hoax -- A bomb hoax in Philadelphia that turned a Dallas-bound flight around and led to a full-scale SWAT response was apparently triggered by a spiteful ex-girlfriend who telephoned authorities to say her former beau was aboard the US Air flight armed with liquid explosives, police told ABC News.

According to authorities, Christopher Shell, a salesman in his 20's who travels between Philadelphia and Dallas, had no explosives and is cooperating with authorities.

When asked how Shell reacted when police took him off the plane, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan said at a news conference, "He was obviously very alarmed as I would be if heavily armed police entered a plane to take me off...he was certainly stunned."

However, in an unlikely coincidence, Shell had been sped through security by a friend at the airport and posted a message to his Facebook page that getting through security had been a breeze.

The note would have been innocuous in any other circumstance, officials said. In the context of the phoned-in threat alarms went off and bomb techs, cops, FBI agents and K-9 dogs descended on the flight and conducted a full search.

The ex-girlfriend and a man believed to be a current boyfriend are now in custody, sources said. According to sources, they appear to have perpetrated the hoax bomb threat and are being questioned by federal authorities in Philadelphia. Neither the FBI nor the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia would comment. No charges have been brought against anyone at this time, sources say.

"This is no joke," Sullivan said. "These will be federal charges...they're going to be very serious charges."

He said authorities did not yet have a motive for the hoax.

"It's just an incredibly foolish and irresponsible thing to do," he added. "And bottom line, it's criminal."

Philadelphia police received a call around 7 a.m. from a person stating that a specific individual had explosive liquid on him and was attempting to get it past TSA and onto the Dallas flight.

Authorities later discovered that the person implicated on the tip call was on the flight to Dallas that had departed at 7:39 a.m. and ordered it to return, according to ABC News' Philadelphia affiliate WPVI.

The man was being questioned, his luggage was searched and no explosives were found. No explosives were found on the plane.

All 69 passengers and five crew members on flight 1267 are safe.

"As soon as we had the situation on the plane secure, I did speak to all the passengers and they were briefed as to what was going on," Sullivan said. "All the passengers were extremely cooperative and very understanding, despite the fact that they were all shaken up."

Philadelphia police officers, FBI bomb technicians and SWAT officers boarded the plane once it had landed and was moved to a safe location. The flight was deemed safe and able to depart for its destination.

"It was a hoax all the way through," one official involved in the investigation told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man with Explosive Powder, Fireworks Apprehended at Philly Airport

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- A 29-year-old-man was taken into police custody Thursday morning at the Philadelphia airport after attempting to board a flight to San Francisco while carrying items that could have been assembled into an explosive device -- a vial with a fuse, a plastic bottle filled with explosive powder and three M-80 type fireworks.

Joseph Picklo of Dallas, Pennsylvania told authorities he is a self-employed salesman who "likes to conduct experiments with explosives" and that he was trying to start a business using exploding targets. Picklo told authorities he had "fooled around" with the fireworks and other materials and forgot he had them in his backpack when he attempted to board the flight. He was charged with attempting to carry an explosive device on a plane and transferred into federal custody this afternoon. The federal charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.

FBI officials told ABC News there is no known connection to terrorism, but authorities said some or all of the elements could have been combined to make a bomb. Picklo was detained at 6 a.m. after a suspicious item was seen in a carry-on bag at a security checkpoint as he was headed for a US Airways flight.

Airport operations were only minimally affected. One gate was closed for 20 minutes while police responded. The Philadelphia Police Bomb Squad removed the material to its range for examination.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Winter Storm Expected in the Northeast

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A winter storm that started falling on Friday has caused many flights to be cancelled in the northeast and Midwest.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Friday due to the snow storm. A winter weather advisory is in effect in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut until 6 p.m. on Saturday.

In New York 3 to 6 inches of snow is expected for Saturday and Mayor Michael Bloomberg said city crews are already out salting roads.

A mix of rain and snow is expected in the nation's capitol and Philadelphia.

More than 700 flights have been cancelled nationwide due to the snow storm.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Three Arrests Made in Deadly Pennsylvania Teen Party Shooting

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CHESTER, Pa.) -- Police arrested two more people Sunday in connection with the shooting at a birthday party in a Philadelphia suburb Friday night that left two teenagers dead and eight others injured.

Carlisha Coleman, the 19-year-old woman who threw her birthday party at Minaret Temple No. 174 in Chester, Pennsylvania, was arrested Sunday along with another individual.  She faces charges of resisting arrest, risking a catastrophe and other related charges, according to ABC News affiliate WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

Chester Police Department Chief Darren Alston said Coleman was arrested after she allegedly fought with police officers.

Two teenagers died after the shooting, and one of the eight others wounded was still listed in critical condition as of Sunday afternoon.

A 17-year-old male was arrested on weapons charges Saturday in connection with the incident.  His name and the name of the other person arrested have not been released by Chester Police.

Police haven't indicated what they believe led to the shooting, and investigators are still looking for more people who may have played a role in the incident, according to WPVI-TV.

One victim, identified as 19-year-old David Johnson, died early Saturday.  A second, 17-year-old Robel Laboy, died Saturday afternoon, according to WPVI-TV.

Nine of the victims were taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, while a 10th person was treated at another hospital, according to a hospital spokesman.

Of the other people wounded in the attack, three -- two males and one female -- were in stable condition on Sunday, while another male victim was in critical condition, according to Grant Gegwich, a spokesman for the Crozer-Keystone Health System.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Experts: Kensington Strangler Is Classified as 'Sexual Serial Killer'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- The man who has confessed to being Philadelphia's "Kensington Strangler" claims he didn't mean for the women to die, but experts on what they call sexual, serial killers believe the suspect knew what he was doing and "enjoyed the act of killing them."

Sources told ABC Affiliate WPVI that Antonio Rodriguez has confessed to police that he murdered Elaine Goldberg, Nicole Piacentini and Casey Mahoney between November and mid-December of last year. Prosecutors approved charges to be filed against Rodriguez Thursday. He is expected to be formally charged with three counts each of murder, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of a corpse.

Rodriguez is also a suspect in the sexual assault of at least three other women.

The 22-year-old suspect is described as soft-spoken, and at five-foot-nine and 150 pounds is slightly built.

Police sources told the Philadelphia Inquirer that during his interrogation, Rodriguez said that he didn't set out to kill the women and that he knew he had to stop.

Rodriguez wanted to have "rough fantasy sex," choking the women until they were unconscious, but he did not want to kill them, sources told the Inquirer.

Forensic psychologists told ABC News that Rodriguez, if convicted of being the "Kensington Strangler," fits the profile of a sexual, serial killer.

Forensic psychologist Louis B. Schlesinger said that sexual, serial killers often choose strangulation as the method of their murder because it's up close and personal.

"Strangulation allows an individual to control the speed at which the victim dies and this is very sexually stimulating for him," Schlesinger said. "It's not uncommon to strangle until almost the point of death, then release the pressure as she [the victim] is about to die so he can increase the time of the sexual strangulation."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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