Grandmother blinded by acid thrown by stranger in Democrat-run Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – A grandmother, who was outside of her home, was seemingly randomly attacked by a stranger when he threw acid at her.  The woman ultimately was blinded when the chemical made contact with her eyes.

On October 6th, the grandmother, Helen Jones, was walking outside of her home to her vehicle to go to work.  Jones, who is a phlebotomist, was supposed to be going to a nursing home to draw blood from residents in the home.

Instead of making it to her car and going to work, a still unidentified man approached her and allegedly asked “Hey, are you good?”, according to Jones’ daughter, Aneesha Summerville, who told WPVI:

“There was a man there and he was like, ‘Hey, are you good?’  And when she looked up to say ‘yes,’ he threw the stuff in her face and ran off.”

The Philadelphia Fire Department rushed Jones to the hospital where she was listed in critical condition.  They announced that they determined the chemical used in the attack was chlorosulfonic acid. 

Jones’ daughter stated that Jones suffered chemical burns to her lips, tongue, and eyes.  The damage done to her eyes resulted in her being blinded.  Jones’ family said that it is too early to determine whether or not the blindness is permanent or temporary.

The heinous attack is under investigation by police in Philadelphia, but police have not reported any progress so far.  Jones was unable to identify her attacker and only noted that he was wearing a COVID-19 styled face covering.

A spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Department, Inspector Michael McCarrick, told WPVI:

“No previous exchange, no problems with anybody.  Just a complete random incident.  If nothing happened in 20 years, the odds are nothing will happen again for 20 years.  But we still have to conduct our investigation.”

Jones is still undergoing medical treatment at the Temple University Hospital.  Her family has set up a GoFundMe page in order to assist with the medical bills and the retrofit to her home that is now necessary because of the attack.

Summerville spoke about the need to make changes in her home in order to keep Jones safe. 

She said:

“She [Jones] was very independent one moment, and the next moment we have to make sure we are around to make sure she’s not knocking into anything or she’s not going to get hurt. 

“One day you’re independent and living your life and the next moment you’re totally dependent on people.  I just hope somebody comes forward so justice can be done for her.”

On the page, Summerville wrote:

“On the early morning of Tuesday October 6, 2020, our 61-year old mother, Helen Jones, was attacked by an unknown masked man who assaulted her by throwing an array of chemicals in her face.  Helen, an essential worker, was on her way to work from her Germantown area home in Philadelphia.

“This chemical attack has left her blind in both eyes and her face burned.  Our family was not prepared for such devastation.  Friends, family, neighbors, and strangers have asked how they can help after seeing Helen’s story on the news…

“In addition to lost wages, Helen now has a number of medical bills, trauma therapy needs, appointments, daily prescriptions, and disability service needs that are adding up quickly.  We are establishing this fund to help us navigate the endless bills and devastation this unknown masked man has caused Helen and our family.

“Helen’s road to recovery is just beginning and we appreciate all of you who want to help us help her…Our sincerest thanks for your prayers and support.”

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‘Perfect grandma’, 80, stabbed to death by career criminal arrested 67 times, out on two felony bonds

May 19, 2020 – HOUSTON, TX – A few days ago, Law Enforcement Today told you about an 80-year old woman who was stabbed outside of a Walgreens in Houston in broad daylight.

Rosalie Cook was exiting the Walgreens store walking to her car. The suspect, 38-year-old Randy Roszell Lewis, stabbed her in the chest and then started to rifle through the elderly woman’s belongings and attempted to steal her car.

Cook did not survive the attack.

Officers arrived on scene and Lewis did not adhere to verbal commands. He was shot dead by police after lunging at them while still holding the knife.

Police Chief Art Acevedo had plenty to say on the incident, which I’ll tell you about shortly.

But first, more information on Randy Lewis.

Two years ago, Lewis was being transported to the county jail. On the way, he struck a public servant, breaking a jailer’s nose.

In October of 2019, Lewis was found temporarily incompetent and was committed to a mental health facility.

Then, in March, his stay in the facility was extended by a judge for 60 days after a request was made by the head of the facility to do so. 

On April 30, his two felony personal recognizance bonds were waived. Lewis was released to the Royal Personal Care Home on May 1.

Lewis escaped from the facility before the incident, but there have been few details released as to how that happened. What we do know, however, is that the judge did not issue a warrant for Lewis’ arrest following his escape, so police didn’t even know to be looking for him.

District Attorney, Kim Ogg’s office issued a statement on the case, pointing blame to the judge:

“The defendant had a history of mental illness and he should have been kept off the streets. He recently absconded from the personal-care facility where the judge ordered he live instead of being held in jail.”

The statement from Ogg’s office continued:

“The judge had not issued a warrant for his arrest even when he had absconded, so police did not even know to look for him and unfortunately this tragedy occurred before he could be returned to court.”

Mary Nan Huffman, who is running against Ogg for Harris County District Attorney, pointed out on Twitter:

“Randy Lewis had been arrested 67 times & was released on 2 felony PR bonds. @kimoggforda wants to blame the judge, but on 5/1 the DA’s office AGREED to release him on the PR bonds. On 5/16 Ms. Cook was murdered. I wish we could say we never saw this coming, but…we did. So sad.”

Law Enforcement Today has learned that Lewis has been arrested 67 times. The charges from the arrest vary from assault to theft to drugs.

Cook’s family has said that the City of Houston has let them down. More important, they let down Rosalie.

Rosalie had six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Rosalie’s surviving son said:

“Right now, we’ll celebrate mom’s life but then, it’s certainly my intention to become active in victim’s rights.

I’m not sure what shape that’ll take, but I’ll certainly apply my energy, my voice and my resources to right this wrong. These policies have to change.”

We at LET are sad that this man had to lose his mother, but we hope the loss will keep that motivation to help bring much needed change into the criminal justice system, especially in Houston.

Like I said above, Chief Art Acevedo was very vocal following this incident.

First, he said that the officer involved in the shooting was a 9-year veteran of the department and had never been in a shooting before. The officer was not injured during the incident and he’s been placed on administrative leave per policy following a shooting.

During the press conference after the incident, Chief Acevedo was heard saying:

“That’s 125 murders counting this little old lady. So, where’s the outrage for that?

“Our officers, when they see something like this, it hurts them,” Acevedo said. “We believe we know who this person is. That’s because an officer who works this beat knows who it is. That’s the spirit of community policing. We’re not an occupying army. We are homegrown, from the community.

“Where is the outrage when we are chasing the same crooks out here? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the outrage when our cops are putting their lives on the line and arresting the same person time and again who’s got a violent history?

“So, don’t come and talk to me about officer involved shootings when no one is putting the mics [referencing the media silence on judges] in the hands of the judges who keep letting these crooks out time and again. Where’s the outrage?

“Why is it the police chief and the police department that is talking about these judges? You know what they want me to do? They want me to go away. Well, I’ve got news for them. I’m not going away and they’re not going to shut me up.

“We will starting putting out (the information) when a guy out on 8 felony bonds is out carjacking people. Where is the outrage? Where? I’ll tell you where. Directed at the wrong things (police). We’ve got to pay attention. 

https://twitter.com/berrycastlecats/status/1262726128797659136

“The violence is creeping up. The violence is being committed by people who are in and out of jail, in one door and out the other. And guess what, one day, that violence isn’t just going to impact these officers. It is going to impact the community. There should be some outrage.”

Apparently, everyone has their breaking point and Acevedo has hit his.

Here’s the original story from Law Enforcement Today:

 

Police in Houston, Texas took down an armed suspect after he allegedly stabbed an elderly woman in a Walgreens parking lot and then lunged at a responding officer while still armed with a knife.

Unfortunately, reports indicate that the elderly victim did not survive the stabbing.

On May 16th, the Houston Police Department received a call at approximately 9:55 a.m. about a male suspect threatening people with a knife outside of a Fiesta Mart located nearby 8600 South Braeswood Boulevard.

Police arrived on the scene minutes later, but were unable to locate the suspect described on the call.

According to Police Chief Art Acevedo, not long after the incident reported at the Fiesta Mart, someone matching the suspect’s description stabbed an elderly woman as she exited a Walgreens not far from the originally reported incident.

The victim, who was stated as being approximately 80 years old, was later identified as Rosalie Cook.

Chief Acevedo stated that after the suspect stabbed the victim, he began to rummage through her belongings and attempted to steal her vehicle:

“What really makes me angry, this suspect stabbed an 80-year-old woman, then goes down and rifles through her stuff and tries to steal her car.”

Employees from the Walgreens had flagged down a nearby police officer regarding the woman stabbed, which is when the officer had encountered the suspect actively trying to start the stabbing victim’s car.

Police say that the suspect did not adhere to verbal commands delivered by the responding officer and had allegedly lunged toward the officer while still in possession of a knife. The officer was said to have fired two shots, resulting in the suspect dying at the scene.

From what Chief Acevedo says of the encounter, the officer wasn’t left with any other alternative than to exercise deadly force:

“The manager and everyone that saw it said the officer had no choice.”

At the scene of the murder, two of Cook’s children were present after the events unfolded. They reportedly stated that their mother leaves behind four children and also six grandchildren.

Chief Acevedo, noting the murder as being “tragic,” was all the more disturbed at the notion that this loss of life seemingly stemmed from someone trying to enact a robbery:

“This is tragic. But the most tragedy here is a woman who has died from a guy who attacked her for no reason other than to steal from her and carjack her.”

With regard to the officer that shot the suspect, the Special Investigations Unit will be engaging into an investigation of the circumstances around said use of force to determine if it was indeed a proper execution of deadly force. The SIU will also be handling the investigation into the death of Cook.  

Chief Acevedo had much more to say at the press conference.

The chief cited statistics that should certainly be eye-opening, saying that the woman’s murder marked the 125th of this year, an increase of 50% over the same time period in 2019. The release of violent criminals over COVID-19 concerns could have something to do with that increase, as Acevedo has discussed that as a big part of the uptick in major crimes over the past few months. 

“That’s 125 murders counting this little old lady. So, where’s the outrage for that?” the chief said. 

The officer involved in the shooting was shaken up by the circumstances, but otherwise was doing well. 

“Our officers, when they see something like this, it hurts them,” Acevedo said. “We believe we know who this person is. That’s because an officer who works this beat knows who it is. That’s the spirit of community policing. We’re not an occupying army. We are homegrown, from the community.”

When asked what the department was telling its officers considering the recent number of officer involved shootings, Acevedo did not hold back on his anger. You could hear it in his voice and you could see it in face, even through the medical mask he was wearing. 

“Where is the outrage when we are chasing the same crooks out here? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the outrage when our cops are putting their lives on the line and arresting the same person time and again who’s got a violent history?

So, don’t come and talk to me about officer involved shootings when no one is putting the mics [referencing the media silence on judges] in the hands of the judges who keep letting these crooks out time and again. Where’s the outrage?”

Acevedo didn’t stop there. 

“Why is it the police chief and the police department that is talking about these judges? You know what they want me to do? They want me to go away. Well, I’ve got news for them. I’m not going away and they’re not going to shut me up.

“We will starting putting out (the information) when a guy out on 8 felony bonds is out carjacking people. Where is the outrage? Where? I’ll tell you where. Directed at the wrong things (police). We’ve got to pay attention. 

“The violence is creeping up. The violence is being committed by people who are in and out of jail, in one door and out the other. And guess what, one day, that violence isn’t just going to impact these officers. It is going to impact the community. There should be some outrage.”

A media member asking a follow-up question, inquiring of the suspect had a criminal history. 

Chief Acevedo used his answer as an opportunity to continue. 

“We don’t know yet. But I don’t need to focus on this (pointing over his shoulder to the active crime scene), I can focus on the reality of what is going on in our city, in our county.

We have county officials telling me I need to shut up and stop talking about what is going on in our courts, I got news for them. I am not going to shut up.

“You see, they aren’t calling and pointing the finger at them. They are calling and pointing a finger at Mayor Turner and the police chief. 

“And believe me when I say we are ready to start putting out the information. Suspect. Crime. History. Bonding history. And the judges and the decisions they are making and we will let the public decide who is right and who is wrong.”

He didn’t stop with the press conference, sending out the following tweet later in the day. 

 

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