Detective attacked on Ben Franklin Bridge

May 19, 2009 3:23:45 PM PDT
What started as a morning jog across the Ben Franklin Bridge ended with a violent attack on a female Philadelphia homicide detective.Detective Betty Weighnecht was out for her morning jog, and as she got over the bridge to the Camden side she was confronted by a man on a bicycle.

"It's my understanding the detective fought the individual for quite some time. The individual produced a handgun, smacked the detective several times in the head with the handgun," said Lt. Frank Vanore of the Philadelphia Police.

The man ripped a gold chain from her neck, threw her cell phone into the river, and then pointed the gun at her, and threatened to kill her.

He didn't shoot, and instead got on his bicycle and rode off into Camden.

He's described as a Hispanic male about 5'6" tall, weighing about 150 pounds. He was wearing a dark blue hoodie and dark blue baggy blue jeans. The bicycle is a light blue racing bike with very thin tires.

The pedestrian walkway is a popular exercise path. We talked with some women who don't come out alone, and some who wait until midday when there's more people around.

"I mean, I do see some shady characters out here every once in a while," said Kara Markley of Lansdale, Pa. "But, I figure, it's bright and sunny at noontime, and that creates a false sense of security up here."

The police questioned a number of possible suspects on Tuesday and staked out a house in Camden. So far, they have not found a suspect.

"We're hoping that if someone was out in the morning, and may have seen this individual on that bike, know who he was or may have a better description of him, they'll give us a call," Lt. Vanore said.

After the mugging, detective Weighknecht walked back to police headquarters.

She was taken to the hospital for a checkup, but it's not known when she'll be able to return to work.

You can get the latest crime statistics from the Philadelphia Police by CLICKING HERE for the force's crime data mapping site.

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