Anarchist protesters go on vandalism spree in Kensington neighborhood; 2 arrests

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
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Protesters go on vandalism spree in Kensington; 2 arrests. Dann Cuellar reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on May 2, 2017.

KENSINGTON (WPVI) -- A man and woman are behind bars, and many more sought, after police say dozens of anarchist protesters went on a vandalism spree in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.

It is now estimated they caused more than $100,000 in damages to people's cars and property in the violent rampage on Monday night.

The incident was apparently intended to send a message against the renovation of deteriorated urban neighborhoods by the influx of more affluent residents.

Residents awoke to broken windows on homes and in cars, spray-painted profanity and paint marring multiple buildings.

There was a sign left at the scene which read, "Gentrification is Death. Revolt is life."

"There was just a lot of neighbors, everybody outside, really upset about all the damage that happened," said Meredith Grimes.

Police a group of 30-50 people, wearing all black, wreaked havoc on several streets, including the 1500 block of North Palethorp Street.

Detectives also found evidence of vandalism on Jefferson, 2nd, and North Philip streets.

"We thought someone got in a car accident, because we couldn't tell by the noise what it was," said neighborhood resident Jill Mullen. "And then we heard people yelling and screaming and glass shatter. And that's how I knew they had broken glass in the building where I live."

A property manager called police shortly after 9 p.m. Monday to report the damage.

Two people were caught running from the scene. They were arrested by highway patrol officers who had been flagged down by witnesses.

45-year-old Geoffrey Suchocki of Doylestown, Pa., and 28-year-old Patricia Monahan of Philadelphia were charged with causing and risking a catastrophe, criminal mischief, and related offenses.

The group is believed to be associated with the anarchist protesters, "Summer of Rage."

"The male and female were both positively identified by witnesses, who confirmed they were observed committing the acts of vandalism," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told Action News.

Police say both had masks, and that Suchocki's backpack contained a device used for shattering windows and a mission statement on how to disrupt capitalism.

"I think the people that did this should be sentenced to a lot of community service, and understand community, and get to know people and understand why vandalizing people's homes is not okay," said Ed Cummings of Kensington.

The site manager of the apartment complex damaged during the violence estimated $100,000 in property damage.

There were surveillance cameras in the area, but many were damaged or destroyed in the vandalism spree.

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