McDade charged for role in beating University Police Officer Thomas McDade was formally charged with aggravated assault yesterday morning for the alleged beating of Drexel University alumnus Gregory Peifer in front of FUBAR on September 16, according to Public Safety Managing Director Thomas Seamon. McDade was also fired from the police force yesterday, Seamon said. McDade surrendered himself to Southwest Detectives at 55th and Pine streets Tuesday night. He was arraigned yesterday morning at Philadelphia Police Headquarters at 8th and Race streets, Seamon said. The officer posted bail and will return to the 18th District courtroom in the Southwest Detectives building for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, according to Philadelphia Police Sgt. Joe Dougherty. Officer Frederick Ricelli was also allegedly involved in the FUBAR incident. Seamon said Tuesday that a third party who witnessed the scene said Ricelli pushed Drexel alumnus Todd Weitzman and hit him with a flashlight to prevent him from coming to Peifer's aid. Seamon would not identify the witness. McDade, along with officer Antonio Serrano, was also allegedly involved in the beating of two homeless men -- while the officers were uniformed and on-duty -- on September 16 between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., Seamon said. Seamon said the homeless men claim McDade and Serrano picked them up separately and transported them to the Civic Center in a police van. The men allege they were beaten by officers behind the building. Serrano and Ricelli have been suspended with pay for their alleged involvement in the two unrelated incidents, Seamon added. Serrano and Ricelli had a pre-disciplinary hearing in front of University Police Chief George Clisby yesterday to determine whether their jobs will be terminated. Clisby said that he will take the matter under advisement and notify the police officers in writing of his decision. Clisby's decision is expected shortly, police officials said. University President Judith Rodin condemned the alleged actions of the officers at yesterday's University Council meeting. But she added that the three officers do not represent the majority of the department. "I have the strong belief that these were rogue officers," she said. "We have a strong police force that is deeply committed to their responsibilities." The morale of the University Police force has been dampened by the officers' misconduct, Seamon said. "I think [other officers] are saddened by the fact that several of their fellow officers have engaged in misconduct," he said. "[But] they are carrying on as professionals as they do everyday." Victim Support and Special Services Director Maureen Rush said she also noticed that officers seemed upset. "No one likes to see this kind of event occur in any department and it saddens many people to know that something like this happened," she said. "The greater majority of police officers do a great job under very adverse circumstances in society today. "The hardest thing for police officers, when there is a scandal in any department, is not knowing how the public is perceiving them personally," she added.Comments powered by Disqus
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