Father shot dead, tot wounded

Derek White had just picked up his 4-year-old daughter from a Winton Street daycare center Friday afternoon when bullets struck both of them.

Police say the shooter targeted White, who later died of his injuries. The toddler is recovering from a gunshot wound to her left foot.

After being shot in his back, White managed to stagger into K Laundromat on the 2700 block of Snyder Avenue, where he collapsed, said Homicide Lt. Mike Chitwood.

"Obviously, whoever it was knew he was picking up his daughter," the lieutenant said. "It’s pretty brazen if you know the guy’s going to have his daughter with him."

Investigators said the shooter had been gunning for White in possible retaliation for a prior incident. Detectives were seeking more details about the motive earlier this week, Chitwood said.

White, 30, of the 2600 block of Earp Street, died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 45 minutes after the 3:30 p.m. shooting. His daughter was treated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and later released, said the lieutenant.

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

Shooter kills man in car

A 22-year-old man died in a hail of gunfire Saturday night as he sat inside his car on his own block, police said.

Sid Daniels, of the 2000 block of Mercy Street, was pronounced dead at HUP at 8:50 p.m., said Homicide Lt. Phillip Riehl. The triggerman approached the victim’s white 1991 Buick around 8:30 p.m. and fired eight rounds from a .40-caliber weapon, the lieutenant said.

Police had no motive or suspects earlier this week.

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

Five rescued from fire

Firefighters rescued five people trapped inside a burning apartment building on the 2100 block of South Eighth Street early Tuesday.

Medics took three children and one adult to area hospitals, where they were treated for smoke inhalation, said Fire Chief Willie Williams. A fifth person escaped unharmed. The children were ages 2, 9, and 11, According to published reports.

Flames broke out at 2:50 a.m. in a second-floor bedroom and spread to the top floor of the three-story multifamily dwelling, said the chief.

Investigators were still looking into the cause of the blaze yesterday.

Wound could have been worse

Two thugs who attempted to rob a man shot the victim in his eye with a sawed-off shotgun – but probably not with a bullet, police said.

Investigators believe the weapon might have been loaded with a fake round or something else because the victim suffered only swelling to his eye, said Detective Joe Chiaro of South Detective Division.

The pair approached the 26-year-old man around 10:30 p.m. last Thursday as he was walking on the 1000 block of Ritner Street. One of the culprits aimed the shotgun at the victim and demanded money, the detective said.

When the victim told him he didn’t have any cash, the gunman fired at his face, striking him in his left eye.

The victim was in good condition at Methodist Hospital after the incident.

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

Arrests in high-rise hijinks

The Vice Squad busted three women last Wednesday for allegedly operating a prostitution ring inside a luxury waterfront high-rise.

The squad received information in December about a possible brothel inside Apartment 902 at Dockside Luxury Apartments, 717 S. Columbus Blvd., said Inspector Bill Colarulo of the Police Public Affairs Unit.

Police set up a surveillance and last week an undercover vice officer was solicited inside the three-bedroom apartment, said Colarulo.

Diane Boucher, 55, of Sewell, N.J.; Cheryl Cammarano, 27, of Guilford, N.J.; and Tiffany Shapiro, 22, of the 2200 block of Carpenter Street, were charged with prostitution and related offenses.

Investigators said the unit was leased to a male who had not been charged in the sting.

"We’re looking into what, if anything, this person’s involvement is," said Vice Sgt. Joe Lanciano.

Investigators confiscated $3,600, powders, lotions, oils, condoms and three televisions used to play pornographic videos in each bedroom, said the sergeant.

Reached for comment, Dockside rental manager Jennifer McDonald said, "I’m not going to talk to you about anything."

When the luxury apartments opened in 2002, three-bedroom units were renting for $4,083 to $4,145 a month.

Drug lord pleads guilty

When Dawud Bey pleaded guilty to drug charges in federal court Feb. 7, he admitted his role as a South Philly dealer in a multimillion-dollar citywide narcotics operation, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Ehlers.

The former Point Breeze resident was one of 20 defendants charged in a 39-page federal indictment filed in U.S. District Court on May 19.

The indictment alleges that Bey, whose most recent address was in Jenkintown, and others purchased cocaine from Kaboni Savage and Gerald Thomas.

According to federal prosecutors, Savage and Thomas managed a drug-trafficking enterprise known as the "Thomas-Savage Organization" from September 1999 to April 2003.

At his Feb. 7 hearing, Bey admitted that he repackaged the cocaine by kilograms and sold it under 500 "brands" between September 1999 and April 2003, said Ehlers.

Federal investigators recorded more than 200 conversations between Bey, Thomas and Savage in which Bey asked the price, quantity and availability of the cocaine, according to the indictment. In one conversation, Bey complained about the "quality" of cocaine obtained from Savage, the indictment stated.

Codefendants Thomas, Savage and four others go on trial March 7.

Bey, who is being held in a federal detention center, faces sentencing May 26. He is expected to receive a minimum of 60-80 months in prison, said Ehlers.

Daycare fire ruled arson

Fire investigators and federal arson experts have concluded that a Feb. 7 blaze at a daycare center was the work of an arsonist, said Fire Chief Willie Williams.

The 9 a.m. fire began on the third floor and forced the evacuation of 59 children and 17 adults from the three-story building at 1511 E. Passyunk Ave.

The Alphabet Academy daycare center occupied only the ground floor of the building. Since the fire, employees have been caring for some of their young clients at Alphabet Station across the street.

Investigators are still trying to determine who set the two-alarm blaze, Williams said.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is involved with the probe due to the magnitude of the blaze and the fact that the building was occupied.

"I just hope to God that whoever did this is found and is dealt with as severely as the law can dictate," said building owner Gloria Inverso.

Since neighbors told Inverso that police had been investigating a break-in the morning of the fire, the arson ruling came as no surprise, she said.

Cpl. Jim Pauley of the Police Public Affairs Unit said a daycare employee told police that someone had forced open a rear door of the building.

Meanwhile, authorities also are investigating a series of threats made against Inverso.

The president of the South Philadelphia Environmental Action Coalition said she has received threatening letters and hundreds of phone calls since last summer.

South Detectives had been investigating the case but turned their probe over to ATF after the fire.

Inverso claimed she doesn’t know if there is a link between the threats and the arson. She believes she does know who is behind the harassment, but doesn’t want to go public.

"I’m not investigating. ATF is. It is now up to them to tell us if that information has a bearing on what happened last Monday," she said. "When they do find out who caused the arson, they will be able to find out if it’s connected to what happened before."

The threatening letters stopped coming in September, and Inverso said she has not received any harassing phone calls since last month.

The owners of the daycare had planned to resume care of infants and toddlers up to age 2-1/2 last Friday at Alphabet Station, but determined they did not have the space to accommodate them, said daycare spokesperson Christine Cleaver Harrer.

The daycare is renovating a former tanning salon next to Alphabet Station to care for 2 1/2- to 5-year-olds, the spokesperson said. Renovations should be complete by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, owners Jim and Roe Gallo continue to search for a building for the infants and young toddlers, said Harrer.

-by Lorraine Gennaro