NBC10 - Lu Ann Cahn
Darryl Haskin allegedly attacked two people in Center City.
The 18-year-old girl, who did not want to be identified, told NBC10 she was walking in Center City near the Ritz Hotel and across the street from City Hall on Tuesday shortly after 6 p.m.
As she was walking and talking on her cell phone, the teen says a man suddenly came up to her and attacked her.
“I looked up again and this man was about to hit me,” she said. “He hit me in my chest and I fell. This other lady came running up and she said that he hit her in the face. I had never seen him before in my entire life."
The teen says she and the other woman flagged down bike patrol officers as they continued to follow the man. The officers then arrested the suspect, who police identified as 28-year-old Darryl Haskins.
Yet as shocked as she was by the random attack, the teen says she was even more stunned by what police later told her.
“They came to the conclusion that he would be charged with a misdemeanor,” she said.
The teen's mother says she was outraged.
"He came out and said the gentleman wasn't crazy and that he was competent," the mother said. "He signed a paper saying he knew he hit the girls and that he would be released in about three days. They were only gonna charge him with a misdemeanor charge and not an assault."
The teen says she was both angry and scared after hearing the news.
“I didn’t think it was fair," she said. "I thought it was assault. I was just minding my own business. I looked up and it was a big fist. If they’re only putting him in jail for three days and he could be on the street by Friday, he could do the same thing to somebody else.”
After reaching out to the police department, NBC10 learned that the charges against Haskins were later upgraded to simple assault. Police say they are currently interviewing the teen and woman a second time to get more information.
Haskins has a criminal history, including charges for disorderly conduct, retail theft and resisting arrest. Police say he was unable to make bail and remains in custody.