Philadelphia News & Search
As many as 50 protesters believed to be with the anarchist group “Summer of Rage” caused at least $100,000 in damage to new buildings and high-end vehicles in a developing part of North Philadelphia Monday night, police said, in an apparent attempt to protest what they regard as gentrification in the area.
Authorities arrested two members of the group — Geoffrey Suchocki, 45, of Doylestown, and Patricia Monahan, 28, of the 1700 block of Lansing Street in Rhawnhurst. They were charged with causing and risking a catastrophe, criminal mischief, and related offenses, police said.
In Suchocki’s backpack, police said, they found a mask, a scarf, a device used for shattering windows, and a “mission statement on how to disrupt capitalism.”
A property manager told police that about 30 to 50 people wearing all black vandalized four of her buildings on the 1500 block of North 2nd Street and the 1500 block of North Philip Street. They shattered windows, painted buildings and sidewalks, and ripped down security cameras, she told police. Authorities also said the group smashed several cars within a three-block radius.
A witness flagged down police who were able to stop Suchocki and Monahan as they ran south on the 1400 block of American Street, authorities said.
The vandals also spray-painted graffiti on buildings and smashed car and building windows near Second and Jefferson Streets, a section of the city near the rapidly evolving Kensington and Northern Liberties neighborhoods.
They left behind a banner that read: “Gentrification is death, revolt is life,” property manager Amberlynn Kabana told NBC Philadelphia.
“Their message was pretty clear,” Kabana said.
— Trang Do (@TrangDoCBS3) May 2, 2017
Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters that police found spray paint, gas masks, and objects used to break windows left behind.
— Tim Jimenez (@TimJRadio) May 2, 2017
The vandalism happened hours after a suspicious fire broke out at a townhouse construction project in Point Breeze, another section of the city often described as gentrifying.
An investigation is underway into the cause of the blaze at an Ori Feibush project under construction at 20th and Wharton Streets.
Feibush said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was at his damaged properties in Point Breeze on Tuesday morning to investigate.
“I’m aware of the incidents in Northern Liberties and other incidents in the city,” Feibush said. “I’m disappointed that some people in the city will use destruction of other people’s properties to get their message across.”
Philadelphia News & Search