Delco police feud makes international headlines

A YouTube video of feuding Delaware County police officers is making international headlines at the same time an investigation is under way in the district attorney’s office.

“Get out of Darby, get out of Darby,” Robert Smythe, chief in Darby Borough can be heard yelling at a Colwyn Borough officer while he is being restrained by fellow officers.

On March 18, police from Colwyn and Darby Boroughs responded to a call for a woman who had been beaten. At one point Darby Borough Police Chief Robert Smythe is alleged to have shut a police car door injuring Colwyn Officer Clinton Craddock, according to officials.

Smythe has not returned a call for comment.

“One of our officers was rendering air to someone who needed it,” said Tonette Pray, Colwyn council president. “It is just a shame that one officer gets hurt by another officer.”

The Delaware County district attorney’s office is investigating the altercation, said Michael Mattson, assistant district attorney. He was aware of video but would not comment further on the “evidence.”

Darby Mayor Helen Thomas said she has not seen the video. She called Smythe “a wonderful chief” and said she is waiting for the results from the district attorney’s investigations.

In the video, medics can been seen assisting someone on the ground. A police car blocks the full view. About eight police officers are on scene.

The YouTube video does not appear to show the exact moment the incident involving Smythe and Craddock occurred. Immediately after, other officers are then showing trying to separate the two.

Ex-mayor Paula Brown, who has had an acrimonious relationship with Smythe over the years, has chimed in on her Facebook page.

“So Darby made the news in the Daily Mail all the way in London, England! Hundreds of articles throughout the US and overseas in the UK and all have the same opinion … yet we can't even get an answer from our own Mayor or Council?”

Janice Davis, Darby Council president, said Brown may have had other motives when she re-posted the video on Facebook.

“She is running for council again,” said Davis. “She is making a political move out of this.”

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