Police arrested a man who they say beat and robbed an elderly man at a North Philly gas station and then attacked and robbed a woman around an hour later.
On Sept. 18, at 5:45 p.m., police say a 75-year-old man was inside the Getty Gas Station on 2401 North Broad Street buying lottery tickets. Suddenly, a man approached him from behind and punched him on the right side of the face, causing him to fall to the ground.
Credit: Philadelphia Police
As the victim remained on the floor, police say the suspect continued to punch and kick him in the head and body. He then allegedly stole his lottery ticket and $40 in cash before fleeing the scene. The victim was taken to Temple University Hospital where he was treated and then released.
Around 7:10 p.m. that same day, police say the same suspect committed another robbery only four blocks away. Police say he spotted an 18-year-old woman walking on the 2000 block of North Broad Street with a friend.
Police say the suspect tapped the woman on her shoulder. When she turned around, he allegedly grabbed her bag and then punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground. He then took her bag and fled on foot, according to police.
Police say a nearby witness heard the woman scream and noticed the suspect running away. The witness chased after him and then tackled him to the ground. Temple University Police Officers quickly arrived at the scene and the suspect was taken into custody. The woman suffered a bruise to her right cheek and forearm. All of her stolen items were recovered, according to investigators.
Police identified the suspect as 31-year-old Joseph Smith of North 17th Street. He faces robbery, theft, simple assault and reckless endangerment charges, according to court records.