Teen who allegedly slammed officer to ground linked to robbery due to braces, police say

PHILADELPHIA -- A teenage suspect is in custody after a police officer was assaulted in Northeast Philadelphia.

8th District police officers got a call just after 4 a.m. Monday about a man walking around with a gun in a parking lot along the 12000 block of Academy Road.

A 20-year veteran officer was the first to arrive. He spotted the suspect, a teenage boy, and tried to frisk him.

"The suspect violently struggled with the officer and was able to actually pick the officer up off the ground and slam his body," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told Action News.

The officer's head hit the ground and he was knocked unconscious. The teen ran off and hid behind a nearby strip mall.

Police found him 20 minutes later, and he was arrested.

Police took the suspect to Aria-Jefferson Health's Torresdale facility, said Small, where the officer was being treated. The officer positively identified the teen as the suspect who attacked him.

The officer continues to recover from a laceration to the head.

The injured officer later said he noticed the same teen also fit the description of the suspect in a robbery Sunday morning at a 7-Eleven store at Byberry and Academy roads.

The officer only had to look at his teeth.

"It was a unique description," said Small. "The individual that committed the armed robbery yesterday morning was described as a male in his teens wearing braces."

That teen is now facing several charges including aggravated assault.

Customers at a Wawa store nearby were stunned to hear about the violent attack that had taken place earlier.

"I just think it's ridiculous," said Megan McLaughlan of Northeast Philadelphia. "Some kids need to grow up, and their parents need to teach them right from wrong, basically."

"Hopefully whatever legal ramifications, the kid can get can help," said Loretta Eberle of Northeast Philadelphia, "...because obviously he's a teenager. He's doing the wrong thing, but he's still a kid."

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