Standoff ensues after neighbor slaying

The victim was beaten with a shovel and trash can
February 24, 2009 9:42:14 AM PST
Police say a man beat his elderly neighbor to death, then held police at bay for nearly five hours. This morning a 44-year-old Frankford man is being held at Philadelphia Police headquarters. He is being questioned and is facing murder charges.

Police say for no apparent reason he attacked his next door neighbor. After that beating, the elderly victim collapsed and died.

Police stayed on the scene into the early morning hours trying to figure out why the man, who lives in the 1300 block of Anchor Street, allegedly beat his next door neighbor so severely that the man died.

For hours last night the SWAT team engaged in a standoff with the suspect when, they say, he refused to come out of his home after the fatal beating.

It all began around 7:00 p.m. Monday when 71-year-old Dallas Costello knocked on his younger neighbor's door. Police say Costello would often take care of his 44-year-old neighbor. However, when the younger man answered the door, for no apparent reason, he began beating the senior citizen with a shovel, a trash can, and other household items.

Costello got away, stumbled home, collapsed and stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead at Frankford Hospital.

When police arrived they say the suspect refused to come out of his home. Hours later, around midnight, he finally surrendered.

Now police are trying to figure out what could have possibly provoked such a brutal attack.

It's unclear at this point why Costello would assist the 44-year-old suspect.

An autopsy will be performed later today to determine the official cause of death.

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