Son of Villanova hoops announcer Whitey Rigsby one of 8 arrested for post-Super Bowl mayhem

The son of longtime Villanova University basketball broadcaster Whitey Rigsby was arrested Wednesday and accused of flipping over a car during Sunday night’s Super Bowl celebrations in Center City, one of eight people charged in what police have promised will be a wave of arrests for alleged criminal misconduct during the revelry.

John Rigsby, 20, of Malvern, faces counts including riot with intent to commit a felony, conspiracy, and criminal mischief, according to court records.

The others arrested are accused of starting fights, throwing bottles at vehicles, and vandalism, police said, and investigations into a number of other destructive incidents are ongoing.

Capt. Sekou Kinebrew, a police spokesman, urged those responsible to turn themselves in — and said if they don’t, police will find them. Although the vast majority of the tens of thousands who took to Broad Street to celebrate the Eagles’ first Super Bowl win were peaceful, Kinebrew said, some behavior was criminal — such as celebrators on and around Broad Street who smashed store windows, took light poles to the ground, collapsed an awning at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, looted a convenience store at a Sunoco gas station, or threw glass bottles into the air.

“If you know it was you, maybe you’re sleeping off a hangover, you realize you went a little too far, and you want to make it easier on yourself, then come on in,” Kinebrew said at a news conference Wednesday at Police Headquarters.

In the car-flipping incident, videos posted on social media appear to show Rigsby, wearing a white Nick Foles jersey, joining a group of people as they lift a Nissan SUV sitting outside the Hyatt at the Bellevue on the 1400 block of Walnut Street. After he and the others flipped the car onto its side, a triumphant Rigsby appears to pound his chest, lift his arms over his head, and scream, “Let’s go!”

Attempts to reach the elder Rigsby for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful. His son had posted bail and was being represented by the Defender Association of Philadelphia, court records said.

Police said the seven other people arrested were: Brendon Lopez, 24, of Bristol; Robert Ehlers, 39, of Morrisville; Mark Thomason, 28, of Philadelphia; Malcom Cox, 28, of Philadelphia; Alexander Mawescu, 26, of Philadelphia; Veasna Sary, 24, of Philadelphia; and Rubin Garrido, 28, of Philadelphia. They were charged with various offenses including: vandalism, aggravated assault, simple assault, disorderly conduct, and propulsion of a missile into a vehicle (throwing a bottle). Some of the arrests were made during the celebrations, Kinebrew said; others — including Rigsby’s — were in the days that followed.

Camera icon Philadelphia Police
John Rigsby, 20, of Malvern, was arrested for allegedly flipping over a car during Super Bowl celebration Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018.

Commissioner Richard Ross said earlier this week that authorities were reviewing videos of incidents that merited criminal charges and would arrest the perpetrators.

Police have since been posting videos online in an attempt to identify people involved in the chaos at the gas station, breaking windows at Macy’s on Market Street, and two men who threw a pole through the window of an A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts store at Broad and Chestnut Streets. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 said it was offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the A.C. Moore incident.

Sgt. Eric Gripp, a police spokesman, said Wednesday morning that the videos already had generated a number of leads.

“The tips are rolling in,” Gripp said.