Neighbors thwart attack on man, 95

A pair of lion-hearted Northeast Philaelphia residents rescued an elderly neighbor from the clutches of a knife-wielding attacker earlier today.

About 3 p.m., police said, a man in his 20s forced his way into the home of Valentine Klepczynski, 95, on Walker Street near Wellington.

Once inside, the intruder apparently roughed up Klepczynski, shoving the elderly man into a wall.

The activity caught of the attention of Klepczynski’s eagle-eyed neighbors, including Art McMaster and his wife, Peggy. “My wife saw him [the intruder]standing outside my neighbor’s house, smoking a cigarette,” said McMaster, 76.

“The door opened and the old man looked out, and then the young guy ran right up, pushed the door open, pushed the old man and slammed the door. “I said, ‘Something’s going down here.’”

McMaster said he called on a 34-year-old neighbor for help, and both men darted into Klepczynski’s house and forced the intruder, who was wielding a knife, outside. During the struggle, McMaster said, his younger neighbor was stabbed in the hip by the suspect. When the attacker fled on foot, the Good Samaritans gave chase in their car and called 9-1-1.

“The cops were there within two minutes,” McMaster said. “Thank God they were right there. They nailed him right away.”

Police said the intruder, whose name was not released, was arrested and taken to Northeast Detectives for questioning.

The heroic neighbor, whom McMaster identified only as “Jay,” was taken to Aria Health’s Torresdale campus for stitches, police said. Klepczynski was also treated for minor injuries at the hospital, police said.