"Thanks, I will keep that in mind," I said before hanging up the phone, after being on call with my father. He had been giving me advice for a job interview tomorrow. It was just after 7:30 p.m.
I swung my head around to see the trashcans outside my house on 44th Street, between Larchwood and Baltimore, had been knocked over loudly. I peered out my window and was surprised to see a young man sprawled across my trash can with two officers, each in suits, on top of him.
“Stop or I’ll shoot!” screamed four uniformed officers, following up behind the cops in suits.
Like the nosy individual I am, I grabbed my camera and rushed outside. As the police officers arrested and took away the man I saw on top of my trashcan, I walked around the scene taking photos and video. Right outside my house, I noticed a silver sedan with a man inside. I had seen the police speak to him, so I thought to go up and interview him. He was young and I immediately thought, “He must be a student.”
Apparently, he was just robbed near the intersection of 44th and Osage streets, and four to six young men had fled the scene with a new iPhone in hand.
The victim called 911 and the chase was on, leading two blocks south to my front doorstep.
My section of West Philadelphia has been no stranger to robberies in recent weeks. Within a five-block radius, at least four robberies have been reported in the past month by a similarly described group of teenagers.
As the suspect in Thursday night’s alleged robbery was tackled by officers in suits, four uniformed cops rushed in with their guns drawn. Within minutes there were more than five police cars on the scene, both from the Philadelphia Police Department and the Penn Police Department.
As the suspect made his way south, he came dangerously close to running out onto Baltimore Avenue, a thoroughfare with lots of pedestrian traffic. Given what I know about police training as a crime reporter, I could only imagine the doomsday scenarios running through the officer's minds.
He was taken down about a half a block before making it there.
“First time in a while I’ve had to yell 'stop or I’ll shoot,'" one officer said, while the suspect was loaded into a police truck.
Before arresting him, the officers asked the suspect why he was running at full speed down 44th Street.
“I was scared,” he said, “because police shoot people when they think they have a gun or something, but [the people being chased] really don’t.”
An arresting officer immediately responded, “That was absolutely not the case here.”
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