Five months ago, police took Tomayo McDuffy to jail after his blind neighbor accused him of breaking into her Holmesburg home and trying to kill her. Yesterday, McDuffy's family posted bail, and the 18-year-old left the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, where he's been held since his May 3 arrest.
McDuffy and his family have steadfastly maintained his innocence and hired private investigators, who found that his accuser, Maria Colon, has a history of wrongfully accusing people, including her own relatives, of crimes. They also say she has struggled with mental illness and question her claim that she is totally blind, saying she had a driver's license until last spring.
Colon told police two men broke in to her home on Marple Street near Torresdale Avenue May 3 and turned on her kitchen gas in an attempt to kill her, and that her service dog, a yellow Labrador retriever named Yolanda, saved her by barking at the intruders and dialing 9-1-1. Colon told detectives she knew McDuffy was her home intruder because she recognized his voice. Police never made a second arrest.
McDuffy was charged with attemped murder and related offenses and ordered held on $500,000 bail. A judge later reduced that to $100,000, and his family held fundraisers to raise the 10 percent needed to free him yesterday. His next court appearance, a pre-trial conference, is scheduled for Oct. 2.