Philly Celebrates a Bit Too Hard for World Series
I remember a few New Years Eve celebration in Philly in the mid 80’s where the city used to go nuts and celebrate their hearts out. Nothing was too wild or too crazy, but you always had a few people in the crowd who went against the grain and made a great situation worse by either fighting or detroying something.
World Series celebrations are famous for fires and overturned cars. Sometimes they even get into the looting and the shop window replacement business during the night. I was browsing the online editions of the local Philly newspapers and found out some of the statistics of last night’s wild activities.
Unfortunately in St. Petersburg, we could never have this kind of thing happen close to the stadium. Considering the main party place, Ferg’s is directly in front of the St. Petersburg Police station, it would be hard to have this kind of activity go on without major consequences. But, you never know what some people will do in the name of fun.
Philadelphia Phillies fans celebrated the World Series victory well into the early morning hours and there was plenty of evidence of the party — and destruction – up and down Broad Street on Thursday morning. Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said police made 76 arrests overnight during the disturbances Additional details were expected to be released on Thursday. “I wouldn’t say the city got a black eye, but it was a little bruised,” he said in an interview this morning.
Arrests during last night’s “revelry” included: Robberies: 1; Assault on police: 12; Arson: 1; Theft: 3; Vandalism: 17; Obstruction of justice: 1; Trespassing: 5; Disorderly conducts: 36. Police said the majority of those charged were college students. No homicides were reported overnight.
The emergency room was busier than usual last night at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. Hahnemann typically has zero to three trauma cases on a Wednesday night, but last night had 11.
Robinson Luggage on South Broad Street – struck especially hard by hooligan revelers last night — reopened this morning at 10 a.m., though windows remained smashed and the the doors boarded up. Owner Sharon Laudenbach said the shop had been hit by looters and hundreds of upscale bags had been stolen.
The city streets department this morning would only say cleanup crews were out working all over the city. At Citizens Bank Park there were no signs of Wednesday night’s revelry — outside of the manure left by the horses from the Pennsylvania State Police mounted patrols. Fox29 was hosted its morning show at the third base gate.
At Broad and Walnut Streets city employees were sweeping up beer bottles, glass, and dirt from toppled planters. One worker near the Academy of Music quipped, “It wasn’t much worse than your average New Year’s celebration.”
The glass windows and doors of Robinson Luggage were smashed. Oversized planters were overturned and their contents spilled out onto the street. Closer to City Hall, at Broad and Chestnut Streets, a newspaper honor box remained planted in the window of the FYE film and music store. Two of the oversized FYE plate glass windows were shattered. Outside the Prince Music Theater, the 8-foot high sculpture was listing at a 45-degree angle.
At the Modell’s at 1528 Chestnut Street, 50 fans had lined up by 4:30 a.m. to buy World Series commemorative t-shirts, caps, jackets. Though the store wasnt’t scheduled to open until 5 a.m. Mitchell Modell, the owner and CEO of the chain, opened the doors and let them in early.
Modell said the two biggest sellers were the red Phinally t-shirt with the World Series trophy, the locker room championship hats and a gray hooded sweat shirt that the players will wear during the parade. When asked what he would have done with the merchandise and himself if the Phillies had lost the title to the Tampa Bay Rays, Modell joked: “I’d be looking for a new job and on suicide watch.”
Here is another wild story bases out of Philly. I included this story because of the wild end to this caper. You would think if you pulled off a crime in a city you would not go to an area where you might be recognized almost immediately by police. But to the credit of the theft, at least he had the good sense of what was right and wrong at the time and spent his money wisely. Maybe he was trying to buy World Series tickets and could not meet the Stubhub prices?
It doesn’t matter. You take one for the team.
But one fan may have taken his devotion a bit too far when police say he robbed a bank and later allegedly funded a shopping spree for Phillies gear with the stolen cash. About 10 a.m. Wednesday, a man, who police did not identify, entered a PNC Bank on Welsh Road near Roosevelt Boulevard and slipped the teller a demand note.
Shortly after, the man, wearing a red and gray hat pulled down over his face and a beige hoodie, fled westbound on Welsh with an undisclosed amount of cash, said a detective from Northeast Detectives.
About 20 minutes later, cops found the suspect, who police have not identified, a few miles away coming out of the Modell’s Sporting Goods store at the Roosevelt Mall, Cottman and Bustleton avenues. Police did not confirm whether the man was wearing Phillies gear or not. But authorities said they later recovered the rest of the cash in a nearby trash bin.
Witnesses positively identified the suspect and police carted the robber off, assuring that the ardent fan would miss watching the Phillies duke it out against the Tampa Bay Rays in the conclusionof Game 5. He might miss the game, but at least he won’t face federal charges, said Jerri Williams, the Philly FBI spokeswoman. Local authorities charged him with robbery, theft and related offenses.
Guess he is kicking himself now by going to Modell’s. He could have hid out for the day and been a rich guy buying tons of World Series collectibles on Thursday morning, instead of sitting in a cold jail cell waiting to see the judge.