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11-05-07, 02:20 PM #1
Investigators issue arrest warrant in Philadelphia Officer's line of duty death...reward of $153,000 for suspects conviction
Nov. 5--Investigators searched intently through the night for the "armed and dangerous" 21-year-old Olney High School dropout who they say may have used his mother's gun to kill Officer Chuck Cassidy.
Police issued an arrest warrant yesterday for John Lewis after a person close to his family told investigators on Saturday that he or she believed Lewis was the man who fatally shot Cassidy on Wednesday during an armed robbery in West Oak Lane. Cassidy, 54, died the next day.
After receiving the tip, investigators immediately went to the houses of Lewis' mother and grandmother on Roosevelt Boulevard. Sometime before dawn, police developed sufficient evidence to issue the warrant. Authorities believe Lewis had visited his mother's house on the 200 block of East Roosevelt Boulevard on Saturday afternoon, only hours before police arrived.
There is a $153,000 reward for the conviction of Cassidy's killer.
Police said Lewis' mother, Lynn Dyches, is a corrections officer in the Philadelphia prison system. They suspect Lewis used her 9mm semiautomatic to hold up the Dunkin' Donuts on North Broad Street and shoot Cassidy.
The officer was killed as he entered the shop while the robbery was taking place. Police said the assailant wheeled and shot Cassidy in the head from five feet away.
Police have not recovered the murder weapon. The suspect also is believed to have at least one other gun: Cassidy's 9mm Glock service pistol, taken from the officer's side after he fell.
"He is armed and extremely dangerous," Police Commissioner Sylvester M. Johnson said of Lewis at a news conference yesterday morning. "John, if you're listening to us, please turn yourself in."
Lewis is described as 6 feet, 2 inches tall and 270 pounds, a black man with a medium complexion, short cropped hair, and scruffy facial hair. From a surveillance video of the killing, the culprit appears to have a distinctive gait.
Police said Lewis has two tattoos: the initials "HP," for Hunting Park, on his right hand; and "NP," for North Philly, on his left hand. The suspect does not have a spider-web tattoo, as authorities initially announced.
Police said the suspect's family was cooperating with investigators. Lewis' grandmother pleaded through the media for Lewis to surrender.
"John, this is Big Momma. I love you. We want you safe," Vernetha Glover Henry, the suspect's grandmother, said outside her West Roosevelt Boulevard home in Hunting Park.
The suspect, who is known to frequent North Philadelphia and the lower Northeast, also goes by the name Jordan Lewis and sometimes uses Jordan as his last name.
Police advised the public not to approach the suspect, but to call their hotline: 215-683-8888.
Police said they were concerned because they believed the suspect was not afraid to pull the trigger and so an arrest attempt might endanger other officers or the public.
"This male has no hesitation in shooting a person," Johnson said. "If he can shoot a person in uniform as he's coming into a restaurant, coming into a Dunkin' Donuts place, he's liable to shoot anybody."
Added Johnson: "We're begging him. We're pleading for him to turn himself in before anyone else is hurt in the city of Philadelphia."
Lewis, who attended Olney High School only a few blocks from his mother's house, has been arrested before, but not for violent crimes.
In 2005, he was charged with possession of drugs and possession with intent to distribute. He was placed in a treatment program, which he completed in February.
Four months later, Lewis was arrested again on drug charges. That case is pending.
The announcement of an arrest warrant energized investigators, who had worked nonstop since Wednesday to find the killer of one of their brethren. While the reward grew massively from donations, police were inundated with numerous tips, many of which were dead ends.
As the investigation extended into the weekend, homicide detectives seemed to grow weary. Typically impeccably groomed, the detectives appeared unshaven and scruffy, with their shirtsleeves rolled up.
But the news that investigators had identified a suspect seemed to lift the spirits of the task force that had taken up residence on the third floor of Police Headquarters.
Glover Henry, the suspect's grandmother, called Lewis "a teddy bear." She said she last spoke by telephone with her grandson on Friday. She said she did not know then that he had any possible connection to Cassidy's shooting
She and other relatives said Lewis is the only son of Dyches, 37. Dyches could not be reached for comment; nobody responded to a knock on her door.
The unmarried Lewis has two younger sisters and a new 3-month-old daughter, Natasha, according to his family.
His grandmother said Lewis was one of 32 grandchildren who frequently stop at her house for a meal, or for "safe haven," a place to spend the night or a few weeks. She last saw him a week ago, when she took him to Forman Mills, on Rising Sun and Adams Avenues, to apply for a job, she said.
Glover Henry, 57, a retired city highway department road crew chief, said she did not believe her grandson was a killer.
"I don't know what would make him do something like that, what would set him off. I don't think my baby did this," she said.
She pleaded for him to phone home.
"John . . . find a way to contact me so I can get you some help. I don't want you to get hurt. I love you, we all love you."
Family and friends of Officer Chuck Cassidy may call from 6 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the John F. Givnish Funeral Home, 10975 Academy Rd. in the Northeast.
Overflow parking will be available at Archbishop Ryan High School, 11201 Academy Rd., and shuttle transportation will be provided by the Police Department.
A viewing will start at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Center City, where a Funeral Mass will be said at noon.
Burial will follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Cheltenham.
11-05-07, 03:20 PM #2
How did this savage get her gun? At best, she didn't bother to lock it up."never bring paws to a gunfight" - Jenna
11-05-07, 04:20 PM #3
Killing a cop with another cops gun, then stealing the mortally wounded cops gun........
I hope they find him and........ well I won't post that here...........................................
11-05-07, 05:08 PM #4\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
`` ` ` ` (3--(____)
"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
11-05-07, 05:13 PM #5
Godspeed the investigation, and may justice be swift, decisive, and permanent.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
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