This might come as a surprise to no one, but here it is nontheless: The two men who were allegedly involved in an armored car robbery, high-speed chase and a subsequent shootout with police that injured Officer Adrian Hospedale today have long, long criminal histories.
Brian Williams, 50, of D Street near Whitaker Avenue, has 31 prior arrests, including multiple convictions for robbery, theft, assault and prison escape, according to court records. Cohort Anthony Reid, 42, of Moore Street near 5th, has 16 priors, including several convictions for robbery and assault.
Reid was wounded by police during a shootout with cops that littered 63rd Street near Grays Avenue with dozens of shell casing, police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore said. He was being treated tonight at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Hospedale, who won the 24th George Fencl award in May, is in stable condition at HUP, where doctors are treating him for mouth injuries caused by "some form of ballistics," Vanore said. For the full story on what transpired, read Dana DiFilippo's story here.
Hospedale is a warm, engaging guy who took on the not-so-plum assignment of walking a daily beat in Southwest Philadelphia three years ago. Residents and cops say he brought a measure of peace to his patrol route -- Chester Avenue to Kingsessing, from 54th to 58th.
Photographer Sarah Glover and I spent a day with Hospedale in the spring, when he was named the Fencl winner. We both marveled at the way people responded to him -- he couldn't walk more than a few feet down Chester Avenue without someone running up, shaking his hand or hugging him. Hospedale told us he had dreamed all his life of being a cop and making a difference. It was clear that he had, out in a stretch of the 12th District that was and still is struggling to reclaim itself from corner drug boys and spates of random violence.
We hope that he's back on his feet and out in the 12th again soon.