Temple cop fires shot at robbery suspect

NORTH PHILADELPHIA - August 13, 2012

It happened on North Broad Street between Susquehanna and Dauphin.

"It scares me," said Felicia, who only gave us her first name. "It scares me a great deal. It could have been me."

It could have been anyone on that crowded street.

Police say it began around 11:00 a.m. at 15th and Diamond, where the suspect robbed a Temple student at gunpoint. She gave Temple University Police a description and they spotted the gunman on a security camera.

The director of public safety, Carl Bittenbender, went out in an unmarked vehicle looking for the guy. He spotted him not far from the robbery scene.

But as he got close, the man, unaware of the officer, allegedly pulled out his gun and robbed another woman. Bittenbender called for backup and the chase was on.

A Temple K-9 officer caught up with the suspect on the 2200 block of North Broad. Police say the man turned and pointed his gun and the officer fired at least one shot.

The suspect threw his gun and ran. Police caught up with him again a couple of blocks away and arrested him. No one, including the suspect, was injured.

The suspect's name has not been released.

Temple students who live off campus say they're aware of the potential for crime, but mostly accept it as part of life in the city.

"I lived at 18th and Jefferson and I got robbed at 19th and Master. Same situation really, I guess," said junior Alyssa Raftovich.

Naomi Kauffman, also a junior at Temple, got an e-mail alert after the first robbery on Monday. She says she does her best to stay safe.

"I mean as long as I'm not stuck in the crossfire. I just kind of like go from point a to point b, don't make any stops or anything, don't listen to music, don't be on your phone," she said.

So far this year there have been 13 robberies, thefts and assaults on the same block where this incident unfolded. The police are hoping to connect the suspect they picked up Monday with a number of armed robberies in the area.

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