Sunday, February 14, 2016

Accused cop killer identified as career criminal

Police officials earlier today identified Rasheed Scrugs as the man who fatally shot Officer John Pawlowski in Logan last night.

Accused cop killer identified as career criminal


Police officials earlier today identified Rasheed Scrugs as the man who fatally shot Officer John Pawlowski in Logan last night.
Scrugs, who also goes by the name Rasheed Abdul Ghaffer, allegedly wounded Pawlowski, 25, several times at Broad and Olney streets at about 8:20 p.m. Scrugs, who was wounded when he exchanged gunfire with Pawlowski's partner and another cop, is still listed in critical condition at Albert Einstein Medical Center.
Scrugs has a criminal history that includes nine arrests, said Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman. In 1997, Scrugs was sentenced to five to 10 years in state prison for robbing a West Philadelphia diner at gunpoint.
He was released on parole in August 2002, but was sent back to prison on a parole violation in December 2004, Vanore said. 
Scrugs was released from prison again in February 2008. Several months later, he was arrested on auto theft charges, Vanore said. That case is still unresolved.
A clearer picture emerged today of Friday's fatal encounter, which made Pawlowski the seventh Philadelphia police officer to get killed in the line of duty since May 2006.
Scrugs assaulted a hack cab driver and demanded his money, prompting the cabbie to call 9-1-1, Vanore said.
Scrugs warned the cabbie that he would kill the cops and the cabbie if the call was made, according to Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey.
When Pawlowski and his partner, Officer Mark Klein, arrived at the scene, they told Scrugs to remove his hands from his pockets. Instead, he pulled the trigger of his .357 magnum and fired off a round while the gun was still in his jacket pocket, Vanore said.
Pawlowski, a five-year veteran, was wounded several times. "He was wearing his [bullet-proof] vest. The vest stopped one of the rounds, but not all," Vanore said.
Pawlowski managed to fire one round at Scrugs before collapsing on the ground. Klein and another cop, Officer Steven Mancuso, also exchanged gunfire with Scrugs. "It's not clear who exactly wounded the suspect," Vanore said.
 All three officers worked in the 35th District, the same district where Officer Chuck Cassidy was gunned down on Oct. 31, 2007. Pawlowski died at Einstein at about 8:44 p.m.
Pawlowski, whose father is a retired police lieutenant and whose brother, Cpl. Robert Pawlowski, was working in the  police radio room last night, was recently married. His wife, Kim, is five months pregnant. Vanore said the couple were in the process of fixing up their first home together.
"It's a dangerous job," Vanore noted. "The question everybody is asking now is, when does this stop?"

UPDATE 2/16: "Two months pregnant" corrected to "five months pregnant."

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