Fiery assault


A senior citizen was beaten inside his East Passyunk Crossing apartment, which was set on fire in what was deemed arson.

The 75-year-old was traveling home on the 2000 block of South 13th Street when an unknown man loitering in front of the three-story building asked if Steve was home at 9:05 a.m. July 28, Detective Danielle Tolliver of South Detective Division said. The tenant informed him that Steve had moved out a few months ago. The man then requested a cigarette, which the resident agreed to give, but as he opened his door, the unknown man forced his way into the apartment.

He pushed the elderly man on the bed in the living room of the dwelling, pointed a gun at his face and demanded cash, Tolliver said. The man realized it was fake due to its obstructed barrel and called the man out for it. He responded with “this isn’t fake” as he pulled a pipe from his pocket and smacked the man repeatedly with the object. The elder man pulled a knife from under his pillow and stabbed the man in the upper back and chased him out the front door. The offender fled reversing a black, possibly Ford, coupe with a Pennsylvania license plate that began with “HDY” south on 13th Street and drove west on Snyder Avenue.

The victim, who had severe contusions on his left arm and a laceration to his head, was transported to Methodist Hospital where he received six staples to his head, Tolliver said.

The pipe and knife were recovered at the scene, Tolliver said.

The suspect was described as white, possibly Italian, with a tan complexion, age 35, 5-foot-7, 170 pounds, clean shaven, with black hair and wearing a black, light jacket and jeans.

The following day at 1:42 p.m., police responded to firefighters extinguishing a blaze at the same location, Tolliver said. The fire marshal categorized the fire as an arson originating at the front door with a flammable liquid, which caused damage to the door, floor and wood frame.

Police have not yet linked the fire and the assault.

To report information, call South Detectives’ tip line at 215-685-1635 or visit

Contact Managing Editor Amanda L. Snyder at or ext. 117.