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ATV rider jailed for assault

An arrest was made and charges were filed against a 27-year-old ATV rider who was seen on a viral video throwing cinder blocks through a car window after he was involved in an accident on Broad Street near Washington Avenue in South Philly.

District Attorney Larry Krasner charged city resident Gregory Stevens with aggravated assault, criminal mischief, VUFA offenses, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, harassment and other related offenses, including illegal ATV violations. Stevens had been prohibited from carrying firearms and is on state parole for a 2014 robbery conviction, according to Krasner.

On March 9, Stevens is alleged to have caused a vehicle collision on Broad Street while unlawfully operating an ATV by abruptly braking, causing the driver of an SUV to strike him in the rear, the DA’s Office said. According to reports, the complaining witness left his SUV to check on Stevens, Stevens repeatedly struck the complaining witness on the head and face, resulting in injuries. Stevens was also seen in the video retrieving a firearm, which prompted bystanders to verbally intervene. Stevens was seen picking up cinder blocks and throwing them at the windows of the complaining witness, resulting in further damage to the vehicle and injury to the victim, the DA’s Office said.

Earlier that day, the District Attorney’s Office had approved an arrest warrant for Stevens following a police investigation of an armed robbery at a pharmacy on the 3900 block of Kensington Avenue, which occurred on Feb. 22.

On that day, Stevens is alleged to have wielded a firearm and demanded “Oxys” from the pharmacist. During a struggle that ensued, Stevens’ gun fired and a bullet struck the pharmacist in the chest, the DA’s Office said. Stevens is further alleged to have pointed his gun at the pharmacist’s head before fleeing the store and getting into the passenger side of a running white sedan. Video from cameras at the store captured parts of the incident. Investigators also obtained information from Pennsylvania State Parole GPS monitoring of Stevens. The DA’s Office added charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, VUFA and related offenses.

“This violence is an outrage and will be vigorously and justly prosecuted. It also raises questions about the challenges state supervision faces when many court functions are still shut down,” Krasner said. “The criminal legal system simply must be more proactive and innovative to ensure continuity of operations as we enter Year 2 of a court emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. My office has repeatedly expressed concerns about some people on probation and parole being unfairly tripped up by system dysfunction, as other people who are in need of close supervision lack its focus.”

Krasner also commented on the rise of traffic incidents in the city.

“I also continue to urge leaders at the state and local level to address an historic increase in traffic crashes resulting in injuries and fatalities,” he said. “Government should be much more forward-thinking about transportation and shared streets, and while the criminal legal system can offer input, we should not be leading this conversation. Fair and effective enforcement of traffic rules is possible without excessive criminalization. My office is prepared to be a partner in ensuring streets and roads are safe for drivers, cyclists, disabled people and pedestrians alike.”

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