Brick assaulter, 16, sentenced to prison

Zaria Estes, the 16-year-old girl convicted for striking a Temple student twice in the head with a brick last March, was sentenced Wednesday to 2 1/2 to six years in state prison, along with four years of probation and other conditions.

Estes pled guilty in October to aggravated assault, conspiracy and possession of an instrument of crime with intent to harm. Along with the confinement, she will be required to pay $400 in restitution, serve 50 hours of community service per year of court supervision, complete her GED and secure employment before her sentence is completed.

In the proceedings at the Criminal Justice Center at 13th and Filbert streets around 1:30 p.m., Estes spoke to the court toward the end of the three-hour long session, apologizing to the victim, Temple junior Abbey Luffey, for the incident, and said, among other admissions, that she is “disappointed” in her actions.

Luffey was struck once each in the back of the head and in the face, respectively, needing multiple procedures to repair a fractured jaw and extensive oral damage.

Luffey, her mother and her 21-year-old boyfriend who accompanied her at the time of the attack, were among those who testified as character witnesses.

Andrew Parent can be reached at or on Twitter @Andrew_Parent23.

Temple student robbed in Progress Plaza parking lot

UPDATE: Per a TU Alert issued around 9:50 p.m. Friday, Philadelphia police had arrested three females in connection with the robberies.

Temple and Philadelphia police searched this evening for two suspects in connection with the robbery of a female Temple student around 4 p.m. today in the parking lot of Progress Plaza on the corner of Broad and Oxford streets.

Charlie Leone, executive director of Campus Safety Services, said in an email that the two suspects, armed with a box cutter, approached the student and fled with her bag, which contained an iPad and $300. The student was not injured.

The entire incident happened in about 15 seconds and was captured by security cameras, Leone said. Temple Police have reviewed the footage and confirmed that the suspects were the same people from yesterday’s attempted robberies, he said.

Around 4 p.m. yesterday, a female described by police as around 18 years old and 5 feet 3 inches tall struggled for a bag with a female around 20-24 years old before slicing her arm and forehead with a box cutter.

The attempted robbery occurred in the 1400 block of Diamond Street and was followed by another on the 1500 block of North Broad Street. The victim from the Diamond Street incident, who is not affiliated with Temple, was sent to Hahnemann University Hospital and was not seriously injured.

Leone said the suspects in both Thursday and Friday’s incidents drove a 2005 white Buick LaCrosse with a sunroof and the license plate number JRH-9730.

According to a TU Alert which was sent out about today’s incident shortly before 4:30 p.m., the suspects fled west on Oxford Street in that car.

After today’s robbery, Temple Police sent a description of the suspects and their vehicle city-wide through the Philadelphia Police communication center, Leone said. Temple and Philadelphia police are currently collaborating to arrest the suspects.

Bystanders in the area said they were not aware of the robbery.

A security guard at Fresh Grocer who wished to remain anonymous also said he was unaware of the robbery.

“If there’s two armed robberies in the area, I don’t understand why it’s not on the news, or why there isn’t more security around here,” he said.

Lian Parsons can be reached at or on Twitter @LIan_Parsons.

Temple Fest incident settled with numerous penalties

Abdel Aziz Jalil, the student who was accused of striking senior management information systems major and Jewish student Daniel Vessal at Temple Fest in August, was admitted into a six month Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, among other penalties today.

The Commonwealth-run ARD program is intended to help first offenders who are charged with minor crimes. Aziz Jalil was also given 10 hours of community service, included in anger management counseling and required to pay numerous fees.

Aziz Jalil was charged with simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. Despite accusations of the incident being driven by anti-Semitic views, Aziz Jalil was not charged with a hate crime.

The Commonwealth proposed the penalties today in a Municipal Court status hearing, which Aziz Jalil attended with his defense attorney, Raymond C. Geary. The judge overseeing the hearing, Nazario Jimenez Jr., accepted the agreement between the parties and urged Aziz Jalil to complete the program and “stay out of trouble.”

Geary said that Aziz Jalil has already given Vessal a formal letter of apology and the two will shake hands at Geary’s office at a later date.

Aziz Jalil is still listed as a student in the university’s directory.

If Aziz Jalil completes all of the required programs, the Commonwealth will expunge the incident from his record as part of the agreement.

Marcus McCarthy can be reached at or on Twitter @marcusmccarthy6.

Temple student assaulted off Main Campus, Police say

By Marcus McCarthy

Police released a surveillance video of five men they said assaulted a Temple student just off Main Campus on the 1800 block of Berks Street around 11:50 p.m. on May 5.

In the video, the Philadelphia police said that a 20-year-old male who was a student at the university was walking through an alley when he was approached from behind by five unknown males. The student was struck on the back of the head by two of the unknown men then beat up once on the ground, the police said. The men proceeded to take the student’s cellphone.

The student was taken to Temple University Hospital where he was treated for a dislocated right shoulder, scrapes and a bloody nose.

The footage in the video, taken by a security camera on the corner of Berks and 18th streets, shows five men walking south on 18th Street.

Anyone with information are asked to call the Philadelphia police at 215-686-8477.

Marcus McCarthy can be reached at or on Twitter @marcusmccarthy6.

Police suspect identified in shooting of 11-year-old boy

Philadelphia police have identified who they said was involved with the shooting of an 11-year-old boy on the corner of Gratz and Oxford streets. Police wrote in a press release that Marcelus Temple, a 25-year-old male whose home address is unknown, is a suspect in the incident.

On April 6 around 4 p.m., the 11-year-old male was playing basketball with friends when they were hit as a bystander in a drive-by shooting, according to the police press release. The 11-year-old was found by police bleeding from a single shot to the side and ducking in a doorway. Police said they found 15 bullets on the scene.

The 11-year-old was taken to Temple University Hospital for surgery and was in critical condition. The boy was later stabilized and transported to Saint Christopher’s Hospital for Children for additional treatment.

Police are asking for anyone with information of the incident to call the Central Detectives Unit.

Marcus McCarthy can be reached at or on Twitter @marcusmccarthy6.

Student recovered alive from Willington after 17 hours

A tense standoff between police and an armed Temple student who officials said was “suicidal” ended early Monday morning, with the suspect being detained in safe condition, police at the scene said.

The scene from 17th & Berks streets around 8:30 p.m. | JOHN MORITZ TTN

The scene from 17th & Berks streets around 8:30 p.m. | JOHN MORITZ TTN

The student, a 26-year-old male, was talked out of his armed barricade in the basement of his North Willington Street row house around 2 a.m. after a nearly 17-hour standoff that began at 9:20 a.m. Sunday morning, Oct. 13.

Sgt. Frank McFillin of Philadelphia police said the student was taken to the Episcopal Campus of Temple University Hospital for evaluation. Episcopal is the behavioral sciences wing of TUH.

The incident began when officers responded to calls from concerned family members that their son was in need of help. Officers responded to the house, 1852 N. Willington St., and found the student inside with a gun, Philadelphia Police Department Homeland Security Chief Joe Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the student was alone in his apartment throughout the incident, and told police they had to leave.

Philadelphia police SWAT units were quickly brought in along with Temple Police and Philadelphia firefighters to clear the scene and cordon off the area around the 1800 block of North Willington Street.

Due to the armed standoff, police shut down access to the 1800 block of North Willington Street and the 1600 block of Berks Street. While police told students living on those blocks to remain in their homes on the second floor, several were allowed to leave to get food and return with a police escort. Throughout the warm afternoon, students on the block stood on their stoops and porches watching the incident unfold with SWAT units entering and leaving the house.

Sullivan and several other sources at the scene said the student is diagnosed with an undisclosed mental illness, and was behaving with suicidal tendencies. The student fired multiple shots throughout the day, several police sources confirmed, though no injuries to officers or the student were reported.

Despite several false reports by various news outlets claiming that the student had committed suicide, police at the scene said they were in constant communication with him throughout the day via cell phone.

“When they are talking to us we know they are in good health,” Sullivan said.

By 2:30 p.m., Sgt. McFillin said that while negotiations remained ongoing, officers had lost hope for a quick ending to the standoff.

Students locked down in their homes on the 1800 block of North Willington Street said they heard police officers negotiating with the student through megaphones. Police brought the student cigarettes and water late in the evening, students and officers said.

Replacement crews of firefighters and SWAT officers began arriving around 4 p.m. to relieve colleagues who had been working since the morning. The replacements themselves began to dwindle around midnight, when police said it seemed likely that the standoff would last through the night.

Two hours later, police successfully negotiated an end to the standoff with no harm to the student or officers, McFillin said.

McFillin said that the student was briefly able to speak with his parents, who had waited inside the police barricade for hours, before being taken away to TUH.

A few minutes later, the streets were cleared for students and residents to return, and all signs of the day’s commotion were gone. Several inquisitive students peered out of doors and windows to watch the last of the cop cars drive away.

The university sent out two email alerts to students throughout the day, the first at 10:01 a.m. and the latter at 7 p.m. Students displaced from their homes had to scramble to find alternatives, and many reported through social media that they were forced to stay at friend’s houses.

Man killed by punch on 17th

A 49-year-old male died after being punched in face by a 18-year-old male on the 1600 block of North 17th Street earlier this morning. Philadelphia plain-clothes police officers witnessed the event and chased down and arrested the suspect, Charlie Leone, acting executive director of Campus Safety Services said.

Leone said the officers apprehended the suspect on the 1500 Block of Bouvier Street around 1 a.m. The victim was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead around 2 a.m.

According to a report by ABC6, the teenage suspect is facing homicide charges.

A Car Reported Stolen Near Temple Regional Rail Station

A Temple student reported his car stolen sometime between the hours of 11 p.m. on June 23 and 9 a.m. the following day near the Temple University Regional Rail station.
According to Temple Police, the white 1997 Honda Civic was parked in the 900 block of W. Montgomery Avenue when it was stolen. The victim told police he parked his car, went home, and found it missing the following morning.
Michael McFall, Temple Police Operations Manager, said there was a camera near the scene of the crime, but the vehicle was out of view during the incident.
Currently, they have no suspects and the case remains open. However, Temple Police said they are carefully analyzing every information necessary to solve the issue.
“We are actively investigating the case,” McFall said.
Police report said the vehicle has a Philly sticker, and a hubcap near the driver side was missing.No further information was given at this time.

Car crashes into steps between Anderson and Gladfelter

This minivan crashed into the steps between Anderson and Gladfelter halls Wednesday. | TYLER SABLICH TTN

This minivan crashed into the steps between Anderson and Gladfelter halls Wednesday. | TYLER SABLICH TTN

The driver of a minivan that swerved off of 11th Street and into the steps on Polett Walk between Anderson and Gladfelter halls Wednesday afternoon will soon be charged with DUI, said Deputy Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone.

The crash occurred at approximately 12:20 p.m. and no students were injured. All three people in the minivan were taken to Temple University Hospital for precautionary evaluations for head and neck injuries, Leone said.

“We are very fortunate no one was walking along Polett Walk at the time of the accident,” Leone said in an email.

The area of the steps was cornered off as of Wednesday evening as Facilities Management cleans up. Leone said minimal damage was caused to Temple property and people walking through the area can utilize the ramp adjacent to the steps.

Police looking for robbery suspects west of Main Campus

Philadelphia Police are searching for three suspects who allegedly attempted to take a woman’s cell phone on Monday, according to police.

On Feb. 4, at approximately 1:10 p.m., a 21-year-old woman was on the 1800 block of West Berks Street when three suspects approached her from behind, grabbed her and tried to take her cell phone, police said. After an unsuccessful attempt to grab the cell phone, police said the suspects fled west on Berks Street.

The first suspect is described by police as a 16 to 19-year-old black male of light complexion and stocky build. He was last seen wearing a black jacket over gray, a hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. The other two suspects are described as black males in their late teens.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Philadelphia Police Department at 215-686-TIPS, 215-686-3093 or text tips to 773847.