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Cop Dragged One Block by SUV He Tried to Stop

Cop Dragged One Block by SUV He Tried to Stop

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Philadelphia Inquirer via YellowBrix

March 14, 2010

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia police officer trying to stop an SUV belonging to a Montgomery County man who had been found dead in his blood-spattered living room was dragged about a block yesterday when a man seen driving the vehicle hit the gas, police said.

Richard Porter, 68, of Woodhill Road in Wayne, was found in his home lying on his back with multiple wounds to his face and neck shortly before 11 a.m. yesterday, Upper Merion Township police said in a statement last night.

His housekeeper found the gruesome scene – police said there was a substantial amount of blood on the walls and floor – and called for help.

Police would not say how the wounds had been inflicted and provided no other details on how Porter, a painter and contractor, had died.

When police arrived at the home, they found that Porter’s silver 2005 Chevy Tahoe was missing, police said.

About 1:30 p.m., two Philadelphia police officers on patrol in Kensington spotted the Tahoe near Kensington Avenue and Somerset Street, and attempted to stop it.

“As officers approached, the vehicle did stop initially,” said Lt. Frank Vanore, a Philadelphia police spokesman.

Officer Christopher Brennan opened the SUV’s door and tried to take the driver out of the car, but the diriver sped off, Vanore said.

Brennan, 38, held on and was dragged about a block until the driver struck a pickup truck at Kensington and Lehigh avenues.

A passenger in the Tahoe ran off and the suspect, whom police would identify only as a 24-year-old man, was taken in police custody to Temple University Hospital with head injuries.

Brennan, a 12-year veteran of the force, was recovering at the same hospital last night from pain in his neck, back and side, police said.

Police were unable to comment on possible charges that the suspect would face, saying that the investigation into Porter’s death and the possible link to the incident with Brennan was ongoing.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey visited Brennan at the hospital soon after the officer was admitted for treatment.

Ramsey said he was relieved to learn that Brennan’s injuries weren’t serious. “He’s going to be OK,” Ramsey said, “but he is pretty sore.”

Jovanna Bevilacqua, 48, one of Porter’s neighbors, said she was stunned to see all the police cars swarm her block, and couldn’t believe what had happened to her neighbor.

“He was a really good guy; everybody liked him,” Bevilacqua said.

She said Porter’s wife, Maryanne, a real-estate agent, died about two years ago, leaving him alone with their dogs, two Siberian huskies. The couple had no children.

“I can’t even imagine him having any enemies,” Bevilacqua said. “It’s terrible.”

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