This is horrific.
A 73-year-old Philadelphia man is dead after a group of teens attacked him with a traffic cone late last month. The victim, identified as James “Simmie” Lambert, was walking across Cecil B. Moore Avenue near North 21st Street at 2:38 a.m. on June 24 when he was ambushed by seven teenagers, according to the Philadelphia Police Department.
In a video released by authorities on YouTube Friday, three girls and four boys can be seen racing after James as he crossed the street. The first teenager attacked the elderly man (who was blurred out in the video) with a traffic cone. A female then picked up the cone, raised it above her head, and threw it at the victim again. As James attempted to get away, she continued to beat him with the cone. All this happened while the others watched and one person seemingly filmed the deadly assault.
The kids then fled from the scene running in different directions, but security footage spotted them regrouping in a new location. There, one person was seen stumbling around as if impersonating James during the attack. WTF. If you are interested, you can see the terrible incident take place HERE. Please note that while James has been blurred out, it is still a very disturbing clip to watch.
Tragically, James passed away the next day as a result of his injuries. Philly PD said in a statement:
“The teens struck the victim several times with objects, knocking the victim to the ground causing injuries to his head. The victim was transported to the hospital where he died of his injuries the following day.”
Elsie Stephens, the victim’s older sister, reflected on the tremendous loss to NBC, sharing:
“It’s so evil. How could you do that to a person? You have a mother and a father, how could you just beat a man until you take off half of his skull?”
It’s just unfathomable, especially considering there does not seem to be a motive.
Tania Stephens, Lambert’s niece, reflected on this lack of motive, too:
“Even I can’t comprehend that teenagers would beat an old person in the street for no apparent reason, and, you know [he] tried to get away and they kept beating him.”
James’ family continues to be “heart broken” about their loss, especially as the case remains unsolved. NBC’s Danny Freeman reported that they “saw him just hours before he was attacked” and are “in disbelief [that] a group of kids did this.” They must have been so shocked to hear about his devastating final moments.
This is James “Simmie” Lambert, the man who was killed.
His family tells me they’re heart broken and they saw him just hours before he was attacked.
— Danny Freeman (@DannyEFreeman) July 8, 2022
Police are still on the lookout for the suspects in the homicide case, pleading for the kids’ families to turn them in. As of Monday, a police source told CBS Philly that officials had been in contact with some of the suspects seen in the video, but it remains unclear how many of the teenagers they have spoken to or what charges they are facing. According to authorities, that would be left for the District Attorney’s Office to decide.
A $20,000 reward has just been offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction, as is customary for any unsolved killing in the city. A new curfew has also been set up in the city forcing kids 13 and under to be home by 9:30 p.m., teens ages 14-16 to be off the streets by 10 p.m., and those above 16 to be home by midnight.
Little descriptions have been released about the wanted teenagers except that the group included “four Black males and three Black females who appear to be in their early to mid teens.” One individual was pointed out as having a “blonde patch of hair.” Those with information have been asked to call 911 or send an anonymous tip by phone or text to 215-686-(8477). Tips can also be submitted online HERE.
We’re sending love to James’ family and friends. What a tragic loss.
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