Shot dead on bike – South Philly Review

A single gunshot blast to the head killed a 20-year-old riding his bike Monday night on the 1900 block of South Gerrit Street.

Akeem Robinson, from the 1900 block of Christian Street, was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:10 p.m., Officer Beth Skala of the Police Public Affairs Unit said.

Responding to a report of a shooting, police found Robinson shortly after 7 p.m.

Homicide investigators continue to search for a motive and suspect.

To report information, call the Homicide Division at 215-686-3334/5.

Young girl wounded in crossfire

The day after a 4-year-old girl took a bullet in the thigh – believed to be intended for somebody else – Police Chief Inspector Joseph Fox returned to the scene and held a press conference seeking the public’s help in bringing the shooter to justice.

“We believe that there were witnesses to the shooting,” Lt. Joe Dougherty of South Detectives, who attended the conference, told the Review afterward.

Two different caliber cartridges – .40 and .380 – littered the scene on the northeast corner of 22nd and Sigel streets where Nashay Little was shot at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dougherty said.

Police have received anonymous calls saying a young man, possibly a teen, was firing at another group of males.

The child was taken to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in critical but stable condition.

To report information, call South Detectives at 215-686-3013.

Suspect killed by police

A 4th District police officer shot and killed a man who pulled a gun on him during a car stop early yesterday, police said.

Shortly after 4 a.m., an officer observed a silver BMW with an Ohio license tag and two males inside idling for a few minutes at Seventh Street and Snyder Avenue, Internal Affairs Chief Inspector Bill Colarulo said.

The officer put out a flash he would investigate and called for backup. When another officer arrived, they approached the vehicle, one on each side.

Police asked the driver to exit the car for a sobriety test because he was “extremely intoxicated,” Colarulo said. The officer on the passenger side noticed a bulge under that person’s shirt, so he asked him to exit the car and began patting him down, the chief said.

A struggle ensued with the suspect reaching for his gun, Colarulo said.

The officer pulled his Glock 9mm and shot the man, afterwards recovering a fully loaded .38-caliber Colt from him, Colarulo said. The wounded man went to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:55 a.m. Police had not identified the man at press time.

The driver was taken to the Homicide Division for questioning; it is unknown whether charges will be filed, the chief said.

There were no injuries to police.

As with all police weapon discharges, the officer who shot the man has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation.

Teen takes bullet in leg

A 13-year-old accidentally shot himself in the leg and the bullet fragments hit an 11-year-old when the older boy’s gun accidentally discharged, police said. The 13-year-old, from the 2200 block of Pierce Street, was charged with weapons offenses and recklessly endangering another person. The mishap occurred at about 5:50 p.m. Monday when the teen reached inside his back pants pocket to grab money during a dice game, Detective Joe Chiaro of South Detective Division said.

Police don’t know if the 11-year-old was part of the game on the 1500 block of Stanley Street or an innocent bystander.

After exiting the teen’s left calf, the bullet ricocheted on the sidewalk and fragments lodged in the younger boy’s back, Chiaro said. The teen was treated and released from Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, while the 11-year-old was in good condition at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Investigators did not recover the handgun.

Arrested for assault

Wielding a hammer, a man allegedly beat his stepdaughter in the head during an argument on the 1400 block of South 32nd Street.

Gordon Brown, 63, from the block where the attack occurred, was charged with aggravated and simple assault, possession of an instrument of crime and related offenses.

The 49-year-old victim in Monday’s 6 p.m. attack was taken to HUP in stable condition with head injuries sustained during the beating, Detective Joe Chiaro of South Detectives said.

Rape fugitive caught

Hours after police named a most-wanted rape fugitive and television stations broadcast his picture, detectives got their man.

Lydell Ragland, 29, from the 2800 block of Marvine Street, was charged with raping a 13-year-old who was the daughter of his girlfriend at the time in August 2004, Capt. John Darby of the Special Victims Unit told the Review.

“Within hours, we received a contact from the Citizens Crime Commission that they had been contacted by a tipster. That information then led us to a location [in the Northeast]. This is a great cooperative effort with the media putting that information out there. It’s just a good example of everybody working together to get these people off the street. It just shows how quickly these things can be resolved,” Darby said.

The captain said Ragland’s arrest exemplifies the recent FBI initiative “Step Up, Speak Up,” aimed at getting people to come forward with information on crime.

Armed with the tip from the commission, police arrested Ragland inside a home in the Northeast. Police issued an arrest warrant for the suspect in April 2005, two months after the victim reported the incident to police, Darby said.

In August 2004, Ragland allegedly took the teen to a Days Inn on Roosevelt Boulevard where he attacked her, the captain said. Darby said it’s not unusual for young rape victims to keep silent after an attack and report the incident some time later. In addition to the rape, Ragland was charged with unlawful restraint; contact with a minor; false imprisonment; statutory sexual assault; aggravated indecent assault; indecent exposure; endangering the welfare of a minor; corruption of a minor; simple assault; and recklessly endangering another person.

Sentenced to life in road-rage case

The 52-year-old Southwest man convicted of first-degree murder March 31 in a May 2005 road-rage incident was sentenced to life in prison last Friday.

Frank Jeffs from the 6000 block of Dicks Avenue will serve time without parole and, in addition, three to 60 months concurrent with the life term for the charge of possession of an instrument of crime, Assistant District Attorney Carmen Lineberger said.

During his March trial, Jeffs took the stand in his defense, claiming he shot Robert Kerwood, 26, from the 2500 block of Colorado Street, in self-defense. According to Jeffs’ attorney, Scott Shields, Jeffs was licensed to possess the .22-caliber gun he carried the day of the shooting.

Jeffs said when he reached the top of the Passyunk Avenue bridge, Kerwood’s silver SUV started drifting into his lane. Jeffs testified Kerwood began cursing and motioning for him to pull over. Scared for his life, Jeffs turned off at 61st Street, only to be followed by Kerwood, he said. That’s when Jeffs pulled his revolver and fired the first of three rounds at Kerwood.

Lineberger called the verdict a relief for “all of Philadelphia.”

Calling Jeffs a “gun nut,” Lineberger continued, “He had a gun collection, he told everybody he was in the Marines [when records proved he was not]. He hunted, he shot clay pigeons, he target-practiced.”

Shields was disappointed with the verdict and the sentence.

“I believe that what Frank Jeffs did that particular day constituted a justifiable homicide,” he said. “Mr. Jeffs acted in self-defense. Unfortunately, the jury came to another conclusion.”

A court-appointed attorney will file an appeal, Shields said, adding he typically does not handle appeals because they do not serve his clients’ best interests.