Philadelphia, PA – A group of juveniles brutally beat a 73-year-old man with a traffic cone as he was walking down a North Philadelphia street last month, according to police (video below).
James “Simmie” Lambert, 73, died as a result of the horrific attack, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The vicious assault occurred shortly before 2:40 a.m. on June 24, as Lambert was crossing Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 21st Street.
Security footage showed a group of juveniles chasing Lambert across the street.
One of the suspects swung a large traffic cone, bashing the victim with it as he reached the opposite sidewalk.
A girl ran past the fallen elderly man and retrieved the cone, raising it high above her head before she hit him with it yet again, the video showed.
Lambert stumbled down the street as one of the juvenile suspects picked the cone up again and chased after him, hitting him a third time.
The 73-year-old man was on the ground when first responders arrived at the scene, WGAL reported.
Police said Lambert suffered severe head injuries during the attack and died the next day, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Lambert’s sister, Elsie Stephens, said the attackers “beat” her brother until they had “taken off half of his skull,” WCAU reported.
“It’s so evil – how could you do that to a person?” Stephens asked. “How can they sleep? I can’t sleep. I’m having nightmares.”
The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) recently released the security footage in an attempt to identify the seven assailants, WGAL reported.
“If they are aware their son or daughter is involved in this incident, I think the best choice of action would be for them to contact an attorney and contact the homicide unit to turn themselves in,” a department spokesperson said during a news conference.
The PPD also announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, WGAL reported.
Police said two brothers, ages 10 and 14, turned themselves in to homicide detectives on July 11, according to WCAU.
Investigators did not disclose the boys’ level of involvement in the deadly beating and no charges were immediately filed.
Police are still working to identify the other juveniles seen in the video, the Independent reported.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said the suspects could face murder charges.
Rania Major, the attorney representing the two suspects who turned themselves in, said her clients are just “normal kids,” WCAU reported.
“Do you remember when you snuck out of your house?” Major asked reporters. “It’s a very sad situation for all of the children, for the man’s family and for everybody involved. These are children, let’s let them have their peace.”
The PPD said it is also investigating whether the same group might be responsible for other attacks in the area, KYW reported.
“We are looking into that possibility whether those teens are involved in other assaults occurring in the area,” PPD Captain Jason Smith confirmed. “I can’t be more specific than that.”
An anonymous 53-year-old woman told The Philadelphia Inquirer that she was brutally assaulted by a group of teen girls as she was walking on 21st Street in May.
The woman said she recognized one of the suspects who attacked her when she watched the footage of the juveniles beating Lambert.
She said that the girl she recognized had asked her for a dollar back in May, and that the group began swearing at her when she refused to give them money, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
One of the teens then threw a brick at her chest while another hit her in the back with a metal dolly, she said.
The woman ultimately threw her hot coffee at the group and took off running, she told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The victim said she was working as a night shift nurse at the time, but that she has since swapped to day shifts because she is too afraid to be out on the streets after dark.
“I had to change my whole life,” she said. “I can’t work at night.”
The woman said she didn’t initially report the assault to police, but that she did contact them after she learned about Lambert’s murder, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney implemented new curfew restrictions for juveniles 12 days after Lambert’s death.
Children under the age of 13 must be indoors by 9:30 p.m., and teens 17 and younger have to be home by 10 p.m., The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content:
WATCH: 7 teens beat & killed a 72 year old man on Cecil B. Moore Ave two weeks ago this morning. 3 girls & 4 boys, used a traffic cone as a weapon. The man fell, hit his head & @phillypolice say he died the day after the 2:38 am attack on June 24th 1/2 @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/4vmfGqOpp5
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) July 8, 2022