35 arrested in scofflaw sweep

Thirty-five people were arrested, handcuffed and taken to Philadelphia Traffic Court overnight, including a couple who together allegedly owed more than $21,000, according to David Lawrence, chief adminstrator of Philadelphia’s courts.

All together, the 35 defendants had $82,000 in unpaid fines, Lawrence said.

That’s an average of more than $2,000 each.

The sweep by officers of the Warrant Service Unit, the court system’s law-enforcement arm, started just before midnight and included homes in several northeastern police districts, along a corridor flanked by Roosevelt Boulevard and I-95.

The top offender,  Kevin Reichart of the 6700 block of Marsden Street, owed $21,095, Lawrence said.

While picking him up, officers also took into custody Mary Reichart of the same address.

She owed $390 for three tickets, Lawrence said.

"So it was a two-fer," he added.

Usually, judges try to get scofflaws on a payment plan, Lawrence said. “That’s the process they’re going through today.”

He declined to say whether today’s effort was the start of major push to put a dent in uncollected traffic fines he estimated to total “hundreds of millions of dollars.” 

“As to whether it’s going to be a continuing saga, I’m going to keep that a secret,” he said.

Don't want to tip those scofflaws off.

No one was charged with resisting arrest, he said.

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