3 arrested in violent mob attacks in Center City
PHILADELPHIA - June 29, 2011 (WPVI) -- Police have made three arrests after a mob of young people terrorized Center City Saturday night.
Police say a woman and her cousin were sitting at a window table inside the Max Brenner restaurant, located on 15th Street between Walnut and Locusts streets, when a young man ran up and stole a cell phone from the table. When the woman went to chase after the man she was blind-sided with a punch to the jaw. She turned to see her attacker, who continued to threaten her, backed by several other girls.
A 32-year-old woman from Delaware, who was also inside the Max Brenner restaurant, also had her cell phone stolen by the mob.
Police arrived on the scene and asked the assault victim if she would be able to identity her attackers if found - to which she said "yes."
The victim, along with her cousin, then accompanied officers to the intersection of 11th and South streets where they found the mob, undaunted by police presence.
The victim identified 19-year-old Aleek Hamilton as the cell phone thief and 18-year-old Erica Rockymore as the assailant.
Officers also arrested 20-year-old Terrance Howard of Frankford, who was found in the possession of the cell phone belonging to the Delaware woman at Max Brenner's.
Police say the wave of violence started at music festival around 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Broad and Susquehanna and headed south, with upwards of 200 young people on a rampage.
"We were walking down the street then, out of nowhere, there's a hundred kids," said Rajiv Sainath. He and a group of friends were on Green Street near Broad when they were engulfed by the mob.
"By bad luck the head of our group and the head of the mob reached the corner of Broad and Green at the same exact time," said Sainath.
He said some girls in the mob yelled at them to run away and some of Sainath's group did just that. He was among those who didn't.
Now, Sainath has a sneaker imprint on his forehead and numerous cuts and bruises.
"We tried to get away but kids would grab our shirts and starting hitting us in the back of the head, in the side of the head," Sainath said.
Rajiv's friend Emily Guendelsberger was most seriously injured. She's in the hospital with a broken leg that will have to be surgically repaired. Sainath said she also had some minor liver damage.
"The girls in the mob formed a ring around her so the guys wouldn't hurt her," said Sainath, but surmised Guendelsberger was hurt when she was initially pushed down.
Guendelsberger works for the "A.V. Club" portion of the satirical "Onion" newspaper. "A.V. Club Philadelphia has setup a section of the website for people to donate to help her pay for medical costs.
There is no word yet of any arrests in this incident.
The mob also attacked other people at Broad and Fairmount and 15th and Chancellor. Three people were arrested in that case.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, assault, theft, flash mob, crime
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