Suspect Beats Elderly Man to Death, Holds Standoff - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Suspect Beats Elderly Man to Death, Holds Standoff

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    Suspect Beats Elderly Man to Death, Holds Standoff
    Michael Bocchinfuso, 44, has been charged with murder after allegedly beating his elderly neighbor with a shovel and trashcan.

    A man held a standoff with police for several hours Monday night after he allegedly beat his Oxford Circle neighbor to death with a shovel and trash can, according to Philadelphia Police.

    71-year-old Dallas Custalow was inside his home on 1300 block of Anchor Street when he and his next-door neighbor Michael Bocchinfuso, 44, began arguing around 7:30 p.m. Monday. Bocchinfuso then beat the Custalow with a shovel and trashcan, police said.

    The suspect then fled to a nearby home on Anchor Street and barricaded himself inside.

    Debra Wagner, Custalow's niece, was inside the home during the attack. She called emergency personnel and performed CPR on her uncle.

    "I called 911 and they told me what to do. I got him on his back and gave him mouth-to-mouth and tried to give him CPR...there was nothing we could do,” she said Tuesday while fighting back tears.

    The victim was rushed to Frankford-Torresdale Hospital where he died.

    Custalow was a roofer and former boxer who had known heart problems, family said Tuesday. There is no word on if his heart problems contributed to the death.

    Neighbors said Custalow was known to help everyone, giving money or lending a hand when needed.

    A police chopper hovered over the Bocchinfuso's residence while SWAT officers attempted to contact the man. Officers shot out several lights along the street with beanbags to hide their position around the home.

    Police sources had originally said SWAT teams received reports that the home was "booby trapped," but officials said those reports turned out to be false.

    The standoff ended around midnight Tuesday when the Bocchinfuso surrendered. He was unarmed, police said.

    Bocchinfuso has been charged with murder and other related offenses. Officials confirmed the man has at least two weapons registered to his name.

    Investigators are looking into a motive for the attack.