Video released in 7-Eleven assault

Police believe the suspect and victim knew each other.

Philadelphia police are still searching for a male suspect responsible for an aggravated assault inside the 7-Eleven at 1501 Cecil B. Moore Avenue on March 22 at around 6:25 a.m.

According to the official police report, an unknown male suspect, aged in his early 20s, walked up to the victim, who was placing an order at 7-Eleven’s front counter. He then repeatedly punched him in the face, before fleeing in an unknown direction. Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said the victim was a 20-year-old student.

The police video shows that the suspect punched the student, before almost falling to the ground. He then punched him more than a dozen times, before the victim walked toward the store’s exit.

The suspect then followed the student, yelling at him before throwing another punch a few steps away from the exit. The 20-year-old then walked away from the offender, who continued yelling at him before leaving the store. According to the report, the student was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he was treated for facial injuries.

“He had some bruises and he needed dental work,” Leone said.

Leone said the assault may have been the result of an incident earlier that morning around 6 a.m. at The Let Out. He said that the student, along with a friend, had been walking around in the establishment with management. He added that the student’s friend may have stolen something, which led to the suspect looking for both him and the victim.

Leone said the student and his friend split up after they left The Let Out, when the student walked 10-15 yards ahead before stopping in the 7-Eleven.

Leone added that the suspect first walked to and looked inside the Dunkin’ Donuts on the 1400 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue. After that, he went to the Subway sandwich shop on the 1500 block and looked inside, before finally finding the 20-year-old student inside the 7-Eleven.

“It wasn’t like he was out there to [randomly] beat anybody up,” Leone said. “He was looking for somebody specific, and found him inside the 7-Eleven.”

The student’s friend was also allegedly assaulted outside by Subway after the suspect left the 7-Eleven following the initial attack, Leone said. Both told police they were probably intoxicated on the morning of the assault, he added.

Leone said no TU Alert was sent out about the assault since it “came out as a disturbance and a fight” when police received initial word. Police initially believed it was a simple assault, but a detective was sent to the hospital and learned there was a fracture.

The surveillance footage of the assault was posted on the Philadelphia Police Department’s website on April 16.  Leone said the delay between the incident and video being posted may have been because Philadelphia police thought they had more leads immediately following the assault.

“Usually you try other means [before posting the video],” he said. “You canvass the area, talk to those that were nearby, and interview neighbors who might know something about the individuals.”

It also took a while for 7-Eleven to provide video, since it had to clear bureaucratic processes, Leone added.

As of Monday, both Philadelphia and Temple police said they were still investigating the incident.

Steve Bohnel can be reached or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.

Joe Brandt contributed reporting.

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