[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Several kids have turned themselves in for the homicide of an elderly man in Philadelphia… and they were SO much younger than expected!
As we reported, the Philadelphia Police Department offered a $20,000 reward last week for information leading to the arrest and conviction in this case. According to authorities, a group of teenagers beat a 73-year-old man, identified as James Lambert, to death with a traffic cone at around 2:38 a.m. on June 24.
In a horrific video released by officials, the group of teens can be seen charging after the elderly man (who was blurred out in the security camera footage). For no apparent reason, one teenager picked up a traffic cone and chucked it at James while one individual recorded the attack on their phone. A girl then grabbed hold of the murder device and threw it at James several times while he tried to get away. After he reportedly fell over, the kids dispersed.
In surveillance video, they were seen regrouping elsewhere — and one person was even seemingly impersonating James! Just shows they didn’t care AT ALL about what had just gone down!! You can see the shocking footage (below):
The Philadelphia Police Department described the harrowing situation in a statement saying:
“The teens struck the victim several times with objects, knocking the victim to the ground causing injuries to his head.”
Lambert was sent to the hospital but sadly died from his injuries the next day. The officials were hoping that releasing the footage would get them more information about their suspects — and it seems to be working. On Monday, a police source told CBS Philly that authorities had been in contact with some of the teenagers — and now we know a LOT more about them and the charges their facing!
According to NBC10, two boys and two girls have turned themselves in, and “teen” was not even the right term — because their ages were 10 to 14 years old! Whoa. That is SO young to be involved in something like this…
On Monday, the first two, a 14-year-old boy and his 10-year-old brother, turned themselves over to police. The eldest was charged as an adult with third-degree murder and criminal conspiracy on Tuesday, NBC10 reported. (It remains unclear which individual he was in the video, but it seems likely that he was one of the kids who threw the traffic cone given the charge).
Then on Wednesday, a 14-year-old girl turned herself into the Philadelphia Police Department’s Homicide Unit at around 11 a.m. She was followed by a 13-year-old girl, who has been charged with third-degree murder. But that girl’s attorney, Donte Mills, is now fighting back against the charge!
Mills is asking officials to review the surveillance footage and drop the charges against his client because she allegedly did not attack James herself and supposedly tried to help him once her friends had severely injured him. According to NBC10, the attorney claims the teenager tried to stop the beating, called 911 when Lambert fell to the ground, and stayed with him until first responders arrived. He also alleges that before the traffic cone became part of the fight, someone hit the old man with a comb — but his client tried to grab the comb to stop the assault from happening. When someone eventually picked up the traffic cone, she tried to swat it out of their hand and never made physical contact with James.
“I think this is an important moment for us because we can realize that there’s still hope in this city, that there’ still good in this city amongst our youth and there’s those that’s courageous enough to stand up even when all of their friends are doing things that they’re not supposed to do and say, ‘I’m not going to participate in that.’ So my hope is that she’s not punished for doing the right thing.”
As for a motive, sources told NBC10 that James was walking past a basketball court when he questioned why the children were out so late on a Friday night. It was 3 a.m. after all! Unfortunately, he was then allegedly attacked with food, fists, and then the traffic cone. After speaking with the victim’s family, an NBC reporter said they believe the attack was “random rage, bullying this old man for fun.” You can hear more on that (below):
These four individuals were among a group of seven kids described as “four Black males and three Black females who appear to be in their early to mid teens.” More members of the group have still not been identified. Authorities are now begging the other individuals to come forward ASAP. Philadelphia Police Department Homicide Captain Jason Smith said per WPVI:
“The message I would like to put out there is to the parents of these juveniles, if they are aware that their son or daughter is involved in this incident, I think that the best course of action would be for them to contact an attorney and then contact the homicide unit.”
We’re sure these parents and kids are stressed out, but the best thing for them to do is come clean and accept the consequences before things get worse as a result of them hiding! Those charged with third-degree murder now face 10-20 years behind bars.
Thoughts, Perezcious readers? Can you believe these suspects were so young??
[Image via CBS3/YouTube.]