Philadelphia

Man Breaks Librarian's Back After Stealing Donation Jar in Darby Library, Police Say

The 60-year-old librarian was hospitalized for two weeks after the incident, police said.

A man attacked a librarian and broke her back while robbing a library in Darby Borough, Pennsylvania, police said.

Terrell Carter, a 40-year-old homeless man, entered the Darby Free Library back on July 12 and snatched a donation jar, according to investigators. Librarian Joyce Anderson Taylor, 60, had just arrived at the library with her 6-year-old great grandson.

Carter allegedly grabbed Taylor, threw her down several steps and trampled her, fracturing her back and lower body in five places.

“He was determined,” Taylor said. "He was getting out with that jug one way or another."

Taylor said her great grandson witnessed the attack.

“That was traumatizing to him because this is a place he loves to come to,” she said. “It was just unfortunate.”

Taylor was hospitalized for two weeks after the attack. She was released from the hospital Wednesday, a day after undergoing back surgery. Police continue to search for Carter who also goes by the alias name “Lanell MCeachin,” according to investigators.

“If he does it to somebody else, that’s on our watch,” Darby Borough Police Chief Robert Smythe said. “That’s on my watch. This guy needs to get off the street.”

Carter has a gambling problem and frequents libraries in Philadelphia and Delaware County, police said. Taylor also said she had seen him at the library before but had never had any problems with him prior to July 12.

“I think I was just at the right place at the wrong time,” she said. “I was a distraction to him.”

If you have any information on Carter’s whereabouts, please call Darby Borough Police at 610-586-1100.

Philadelphia Police/Family Photo
(L to R), Terrell Carter, Joyce Anderson Taylor

Correction: This article originally stated the alleged incident occurred on July 11. Police say it occurred on July 12.

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