'Ticking time bomb' gets up to 132 years in shooting, fight with cops

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A Philadelphia judge on Wednesday sentenced Eric Torres to 66 to 132 years in prison for shooting and disabling police Officer Edward Davies during a 2013 struggle in a Feltonville grocery store.

A JUDGE yesterday sentenced a Feltonville man to 66 to 132 years in state prison for shooting and gravely injuring a cop two years ago, for assault charges on three other cops and for being a "gun-toting, drug-dealing criminal."

Common Pleas Judge Charles Ehrlich's punishment was even harsher than the lengthy prison term sought by prosecutors.

In a stinging criticism of defendant Eric Torres, Ehrlich told him: "You're the kind of person who is a very dangerous person to society . . . I don't want any more people to be assaulted by you, to be shot by you or being sold drugs by you . . . I don't want you on the streets. You're a ticking time bomb."

Torres, 33, was convicted by a jury in March of aggravated assault, assault of a law-enforcement officer and weapons offenses in the August 2013 shooting of Police Officer Edward Davies, who was shot in the abdomen during a struggle in a Feltonville corner bodega. The jury acquitted Torres of attempted murder.

Torres was also convicted of aggravated and simple assault in relation to three other cops involved in the struggle at the Almonte Mini Market at 4th and Annsbury streets, in which cops were yelling to Torres to show his hands, but Torres refused.

Torres had a .45-caliber Glock 30 in his waistband.

Davies, 43, told the judge yesterday he is in pain "from when I wake up to when I go to bed." It feels "like someone is jabbing me with a knife," he said.

He hasn't returned to work. He can't play sports. Davies, who has four kids, ages 3 to 24, said he can't pick up his 3-year-old son or play with him in the park.

"It's like I'm a vegetable practically," he said.

Davies lost a kidney because of the shooting and was in a coma for three weeks. He spent 37 days at Temple University Hospital. And he has undergone numerous surgeries since then.

"It's just been two years of pain. Pain and total hell," Davies said, his voice getting louder as he looked directly at Torres.

Davies was a six-year veteran of the Police Department, serving in North Philly's 25th District when he was shot. Before that, he worked as a union plumber.

Torres apologized to Davies and his family. "I know it's not easy, and God bless everyone," he said. He also apologized to his own family, his kids and the judge.

The events leading to the shooting began shortly before noon on Aug. 13, 2013, when Torres, driving a BMW with a broken brake light, was pulled over by a cop at 5th Street and Allegheny Avenue in North Philly.

Torres gave the officer his driver's license and registration but then sped off. He crashed his BMW into a wall at Rising Sun Avenue and Bristol Street in Feltonville, then ran a half-mile to the market, across from his home. After cops spotted him, the struggle ensued.

Assistant District Attorney Lou Tumolo, who prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Ed Jaramillo, yesterday asked the judge to sentence Torres to 55 to 110 years behind bars.

Tumolo showed the judge and the packed courtroom an enlarged photo of Torres, which was recovered after his arrest.

It showed Torres posing with a gun in his hand, acting like a hoodlum.

Tumolo said Torres had been arrested nine times, all in the 25th District, since coming to Philadelphia in 2004.

"This defendant has been a menace, a pest, to the 25th District," Tumolo said.

"He has spent the last decade selling drugs in the 25th District," either heroin or crack cocaine, Tumolo said. At the time he was arrested, Torres "owned a Lexus, a BMW and a motorcycle," the prosecutor said.

The 2013 struggle with cops wasn't Torres' first, Tumolo said. Torres had gotten into an earlier scuffle with two other cops after he first ran and hid, then kicked and punched the cops, and bit one of the officers in the hand - similar to what happened in the 2013 incident, Tumolo said.

In the Almonte Mini Market, Torres had bit the wrist of one officer, John Bucceroni, during the violent struggle with the cops.

Public defender Eric Zuckerman told the judge that before coming here in 2004, Torres, who was born in Puerto Rico, was, as a child, the victim of physical abuse by his family. Torres tried to commit suicide numerous times, the attorney said.

"At a very young age, he turned to narcotics to cope with the abuse," Zuckerman said.

He called Torres' drug-dealing in Philadelphia "desperate attempts to care for his family." Torres now has his own kids.

Zuckerman asked the judge for a sentence of 8 to 20 years in prison. After the hearing, the attorney said he plans to appeal.

The jury in March also convicted Torres of possession with intent to deliver heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. After Davies was shot and Torres arrested, cops found heroin in his car and house.

Viomarys Byron, the mother of Torres' toddler daughter, told the judge yesterday as she held the girl in her arms that "people make mistakes."

Davies, during his testimony before the judge, said that Torres' "girlfriend said he made a mistake."

"It wasn't a mistake," Davies said. "It almost cost me my life."


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