Officer's neighborhood feud being investigated

February 11, 2008 6:58:19 AM PST
The Philadelphia district attorneys office is now investigating Saturday's neighborhood feud involving a police detective and an elderly woman. The woman who was thrown against a wall by the detective told her story exclusively to Action News.

"And this man when he grabbed me, I thought I was done, I really and truly thought I was done," said Ruth Francks.

69-year-old Francks says she has bruises all over her back and wrists and her eye glasses broken during a harrowing encounter Saturday with her neighbor, 58-year-old Robert Grady, a retired or soon to be retired Philadelphia Police detective. An encounter in the 3500 block of Mercer that was set off over a circular and whether it belong on Francks' row home stoop or Grady's who lives next door.

Francks held the circular up, telling us, "This is what it was over, a packet of these circulars on his step. That he insisted on putting on mine."

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

"He threw me up against his wall, then he told me he was doing a citizen's arrest. He didn't say he was a policeman, he said citizens arrest and the next thing I know, he pulls out handcuffs," says Fracks.

Grady had placed one of the woman's hands in a handcuff when the surveillance footage shows the Franck's son-in-law, Joe Nocito jumped into the fray pinning Grady down against the hood of a parked car.

Francks tells us, "He dragged me with him, he wouldn't let go of the handcuff. Grady wouldn't let me go. They were trying to get the handcuff off, they tried to get Mr. Grady to let go, but he wouldn't do it."

The footage shows police arrived on the scene four minutes later to find themselves right in the middle of the feud. Initially, Ruth Francks and a number of her relatives were taken into custody. That is until police brass saw the video tape and said it seemed as though Grady had instigated it all.

FBI spokeswoman Jerri Williams says Grady was working with the FBI fugitive task force but retired a month and a half ago. However, a police source says he remains on the payroll and is due to retire soon.

We attempted again to get the Grady's family side of the story. On Saturday they cursed at us and told us to leave. On Sunday, they wouldn't answer the door.

The matter is now under review by internal affairs. Meanwhile Ruth Francks who turns 70 next month is fearful of retaliation and plans to move. "I can't live here because I'm afraid for my son's and my grandsons, its not fair to them for me to stay here so I'm moving."