Neighborhood feud captured on tape

February 9, 2008 8:44:44 PM PST
A neighborhood feud in Port Richmond escalated into violence Saturday. Police arrived on the 3500 block of Mercer Street around 9:20 a.m. and got caught right in the middle of a feud between the family of a 69-year-old woman and her 58-year-old neighbor, a retired or soon to be retired Philadelphia Police detective.

The feud has been going for some time, but believe it or not, this morning's melee was over a flyer and on which of two adjacent row home stoops it belonged?

Vinne Rdesinski, the woman's grandson tells us, "My grandmother placed a circular that belonged on his step."

A surveillance camera across the street was rolling when an enraged Grady came out of his row home, manhandled 69-year-old Ruth Francks, threw her up against the wall and was attempting to handcuff her.

For what? "For placing a circular. I'm not exactly sure what his thoughts were - and what was illegal about her taking a circular off her steps, but yeah, he was going to arrest her. He tried to handcuff her," said Rdesinski.

Grady had placed one of the woman's hands in a handcuff when the surveillance footage shows that moments later, the woman's son-in-law, Joe Nocito steps in, pulling Grady away and pinning him against the hood of a parked car.

Rdesinski says, "He saw someone attacking my grandmother and he was going go help her."

The footage shows that police arrived four minutes later. They took Ruth Francks into custody along with a number of her relatives.

FBI spokesman Jerri Williams says Police Detective Grady was working with the FBI fugitive task force but retired a month and a half ago. But a source with the police says he remains on the payroll and is due to retire soon. We attempted to get his side of the story but his family cursed at us and told us to leave.

After seeing the tape, police filed no charges against the Francks family. But the feud seems far from over.

Franck's daughter, Katy Lees tells Action News, "My mom puts up with harassment from them everyday, bad language, garbage in the yard, dog feces."

Among the questions that now have to be asked is, did Robert Grady manhandle and attempt to arrest his 69-year-old neighbor and all because of a flyer advertising a neighborhood meat market? These are all questions now being looked into by police internal affairs.