Man arrested in triple stabbing no stranger to criminal justice system

WEST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police have arrested a man in connection with a triple stabbing that left one person dead and two others injured in West Philadelphia.

Fifty-five-year-old Ronald Stanley of the 1100 block of South 58th Street is facing several charges including one count of murder and two counts of criminal homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and related offenses.

Police say Stanley had a revolving door at the criminal justice system with a slew of 31 prior arrests over four decades dating back to 1985.

Prior charges include robbery, theft, drugs, assault and other offenses.

"I know he has a lengthy and violent criminal history. It would appear for this bizarre act to have happened, he was on some type of drug, but what drug I don't know," said Clark.

But somehow he managed to game the system, and he was out on the streets on Tuesday.

"What we're talking about here is really the second wound," said Deborah Sprunger, Anti-Violence Partnership. "Cause the first wound is the actual homicide of someone and now we're talking about the criminal justice."

The Anti-Violence Partnership, an advocacy group, says first the victim is traumatized by the crime itself and often times traumatized a second time by the criminal justice system.

"These events like last night as I watched that unfold on the news, and I watched it, I kept adding them up," said Joanne Walker, Anti-Violence Partnership. "It affected me and I thought about the families that we would be seeing."

Police responded at about 2:25 p.m. Tuesday to a report of a stabbing near the intersection of 56th Street and Baltimore Avenue.

Clifford Medley was sitting in his car outside a Cricket Wireless store when he says Stanley jumped into his passenger seat and began stabbing the 50-year-old man.

"His eyes were so red, he had a straight-look face like he just wanted to kill," said Medley. "He didn't say nothing, he just came in swinging a knife at me."

Medley was able to fight the attacker off, only suffering wounds to both hands.

Seconds earlier police say Stanley stabbed 31-year-old Roosevelt Gray who was in the Cricket Wireless store after Medley dropped him off.

"He came out and he was hollering that he was stabbed in the chest," said Medley.

Police say Stanley then walked across the street to 30-year-old Nathan Ackinson who was talking to his girlfriend while getting his car fixed. Stanley then stabbed Ackinson in the chest, and the victim staggered into the middle of Baltimore Avenue where he collapsed.

"He had only been here for about five minutes. He was having some problems with his car," said Philadelphia Police Capt. James Clark. "He pulled up in the lot to try and have somebody look at it, and within minutes of getting out of his car, he was stabbed and killed."

All the more bizarre, police said, is the victims were not known to Stanley.

"It just appears as though he walked into the business and saw a person and just figured he'll stab him. Walks out, saw another person sitting in his car, took an opportunity. And he walks across the street, he sees this guy talking to his fiance, and just walks right up on him and stabs him and just keeps on walking," said Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker. "It's just a terrible, terrible situation."

Medley and Gray, who sustained injuries to their hands and arms, were taken to Mercy Philadelphia Hospital in stable condition.

Ackinson was rushed to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 2:59 p.m.

Shortly after, Stanley was taken into custody, and the weapon, located on the accused attacker, was recovered.

Doctors told Medley's friend Roosevelt he was lucky as the knife nearly missed his heart.

"I know God is in my life, and I have to serve him for the rest of my life," said Medley. "I just feel bad for the guy that got killed. I really feel bad about him."

It seems this whole cycle of violence is affecting the whole community because as it turns out, according to police, Stanley only kicked off what would prove to be a very violent day across the city totally 6 murders in all.
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