Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014, 3:52 PM

A fatal car crash that killed an 18-year-old old pedestrian last month in Clifton Heights turned from a tragedy to an alleged criminal act today.

Police have charged Jonathan Vanderhost, 45, of Lansdowne, with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and related offenses for the Jan. 12 car crash that claimed the life of recent Upper Darby High grad Dante DeSimone, 18.

DeSimone was on foot with two other friends near the McDonald's on Baltimore Pike near Lehann Circle in Clifton Heights at around 9:20 p.m. when a crash between Vanderhost and another driver caused the other driver's pickup truck to plow into DeSimone and one of his friends. DeSimone died as a result of his injuries and his friend suffered broken bones in his shoulder, leg and foot, as well as a lung injury.

POSTED: Monday, February 24, 2014, 3:21 PM

An Upper Darby man was "viciously bludgeoned to death" in his own home this weekend and his murder was only discovered this morning when his coworkers went to check on him, said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

Michael Fanning, 59, was supposed to report for work as a painter at Haverford College this weekend and when he didn't show and didn't answer his phone, two of his coworkers went to his house on Ruskin Lane near Long around 8:15 a.m. today.

When they found the doors locked they called police, who discovered Fanning dead on his bed in his second floor bedroom. Chitwood declined to say whether police believe Fanning was beaten to death with an object or by someone's bare hands, though he did say officers have found "significant" forensic evidence.

POSTED: Sunday, February 23, 2014, 5:23 PM
The Aldi in question. (Google Maps)

Of Aldi reasons to start an argument with a stranger, this one is pretty absurd.

A confrontation between an off-duty Colwyn police officer and a civilian over who touched whose groceries at an Aldi supermarket Friday night has prompted an investigation by the Delaware County District Attorney's Office after the civilian alleged that the officer flashed his gun during the argument, said Collingdale Police Chief Bob Adams.

The off-duty officer, who has not been identified, and the civilian were in a check-out line at the Aldi on MacDade Boulevard near West Oak Lane in Collingdale shortly after 6 p.m. when an argument began over the touching of groceries, police said. It was inside the store that the off-duty allegedly identified himself as a police officer, for reasons that are not immediately clear.

POSTED: Thursday, February 20, 2014, 6:22 PM

Delaware County authorities have arrested a Havertown man for allegedly viewing child pornography on his work computer at Allied Fence in Eddystone, then telling a shocked customer that it was "okay because they are Russian."

Robert Forst, 60, learned that it was not okay when he was charged today with possession of child pornography and related offenses.

Cops say they found more than a hundred images of child porn on Forst's Toshiba laptop. Some of the images were of infants and toddlers. According to the criminal complaint, Forst said that they are "pleasant to look at, and that they are like flowers."

POSTED: Thursday, February 20, 2014, 4:50 PM

A stranded motorist whose car broke down in the middle of an Upper Darby road yesterday had an unusual reaction when a police officer stopped to help him - he ran away.

Upper Darby Ofc. Stephen Tarozzi was on patrol around 1:13 p.m. when he saw a car broken down in the middle of Marshall Road near Powell Lane that appeared to have a broken axle, police said.

As Tarozzi made a u-turn to help the stranded motorist, he saw the driver, who was later identified as Omar Quadar Hooks, walk away from his vehicle, according to court documents. As Tarozzi approached the car, Hooks picked up his pace and kept glancing over his shoulder at the cop, police said.

POSTED: Monday, February 17, 2014, 3:22 PM
Brayden Chandler, 3, was diagnosed with a kidney tumor last January and this month, his parents were told that doctors could do no more for the boy. Instead of treatment, they told the Chandlers to enjoy their last bit of time with their son. (Brayden's Buddies / Facebook)

A terminally-ill Delaware County boy will receive a hero's welcome when he returns home from his Make-A-Wish vacation tomorrow to a massive police escort that will take him from the Philadelphia International Airport to his front door in Springfield.

Brayden Chandler, 3, was diagnosed with a kidney tumor last January and this month, his parents were told that doctors could do no more for the boy. Instead of treatment, they told the Chandlers to enjoy their last bit of time with their son.

Right now, the Chandler family is at Walt Disney World, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but the surprises won't end when they get home tomorrow.

POSTED: Monday, February 10, 2014, 4:18 PM

An elderly Lansdowne woman who was initially believed to have died from a fall down her stairs was actually stabbed to death, according to police.

Bruna Cossavella, of Plumstead Avenue near Crawford, was found by a family member in her home last Wednesday after neighbors called the relative to report they hadn't been able to reach Cossavella, police said.

The relative, whom police did not identify, found Cossavella at the bottom of her basements steps surrounded by a large pool of blood, according to police. She was taken to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

POSTED: Sunday, February 9, 2014, 5:31 PM

As my colleague said, it "takes a special kind of loser to hit and run an ambulance," but Delaware County had just such a loser last week.

Around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, a driver trying to merge on Baltimore Pike near Blackhorse Lane in Middletown Township struck a Riddle Memorial Hospital ambulance, forcing it into a third vehicle, police said. The driver of the striking vehicle then went merrily on his way, instead of, you know, stopping like a human being. 

Luckily, there were no patients in the ambulance and no injuries to anyone in the other vehicles.

About this blog
In The Daily Delco blog, Daily News reporters William Bender and Stephanie Farr dig up all the dirt - from crazy crimes to political malfeasance and everything in between - in Delaware County.

E-mail tips to Bender at or call him at 215-964-2099. Follow him on Twitter: @wbender99

E-mail tips to Farr at or call her at 215-854-4225. Follow her on Twitter: @farfarraway

William Bender and Stephanie Farr
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