Police are searching for two suspects accused of beating a man outside a religious shelter, and threatening to burn the place down.
Police say a 46-year-old man and a 33-year-old man were outside the Philadelphia Brotherhood Rescue Mission building on the 400 block of East Girard Avenue Sunday at 5:09 a.m. when two unidentified suspects got out of a vehicle and approached them. The first suspect, who was armed with a baseball bat, broke the glass front door of the building and then chased the 33-year-old man, striking his right leg with the bat, police said.
“It was just shocking,” the 33-year-old man told NBC10 in an exclusive interview. ““I heard the door shattering and I saw him and it got me a little shaken up.”
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The second suspect then took the 46-year-old man’s cane and hit him in the left shoulder several times, according to investigators. He then allegedly lit a plastic bag on fire and threw it at the 46-year-old. The two suspects then went back inside their vehicle, which police believe is a light-colored KIA. Before they drove off, one of the men allegedly said, “I am coming back to burn this place down.” They then drove east on Girard Avenue towards I-95, according to police.
The Philadelphia Brotherhood Rescue Mission (PBRM) is a faith-based organization that helps the homeless, the needy and those struggling with substance abuse and addiction.
“We have a holistic approach,” said Pastor Eric Dorsey, who works at PBRM. “We do faith-based, we do mental health and we do substance abuse treatment.”
Dorsey told NBC10 he thinks the attackers mistakenly believed one of the victims was involved in a separate incident at a nearby bar. Police have not yet confirmed this however.
The first suspect is described as a white male between the ages of 20 and 25 years old standing 5-foot-7 and weighing 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a plaid shirt and an orange baseball cap with what appeared to be a little league baseball bat on the front. The second suspect is described as a 50-year-old white male weighing 280 pounds with whitish gray hair wearing a gray shirt and jeans.
If you have any information on the incident, please call Philadelphia Police.