Two arrests in nightspot shooting
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 1:00 AM
Two men were arrested last week in connection with a June 30 shooting outside a popular nightspot on Atkins Street in northwest Philadelphia.
The shooting that injured two sparked outrage from members of a neighboring church over what they say is an ongoing problem with violence and alcohol consumption.
Pastor W. C. Rush and members of Goodway Baptist Church appeared before the Mayor and Board of Aldermen after the shooting pleading for an increase in police patrols.
On Friday, Elijah Foster, 19, of 1510 Garland Ave., Detroit, Mich., was charged with two counts of aggravated assault in connection with the shooting.
Ken Thomas, 21, of 250 Adams St., was charged with simple assault and possession of a stolen firearm.
The shooting occurred about 3 a.m. outside of the nightspot known as Curlee's.
Marquai Finley, 23, and Jonathan Leach, 23, both of Philadelphia, were talking to a friend outside of Curlee's when a shooter walked up and fired, striking both men in the stomach, Police Investigator Fredesz Moore said.
Both were taken to Neshoba County General Hospital by personal vehicle and later taken to a Jackson hospital. Finley remained hospitalized Tuesday, Moore said.
Leach was treated and later released.
Prior to the shooting, Thomas and Leach were engaged in a fight outside of Curlee's, Moore said.
Foster and Thomas were taken into custody Thursday following a traffic stop by police. They were formally charged on Friday, Moore said.
Pastor Rush and other church members displayed several beer and liquor bottles on a mat during the July 9 meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.
He told aldermen that they were picked up in the church's parking lot as "proof" of what was going on at the establishment, which is owned by Curlee Connors.
Rush told aldermen that the recent shooting was not the first.
"Some have gotten killed there," he said. "Their blood was in our church parking lot."
During the meeting, Mayor James Young directed Police Chief Bill Cox to increase patrols in the area and have officers better enforce the no parking signs.
Young also promised to have vehicles towed if found in violation of the no parking signs.
However, church member Jerry Smith said Monday that vehicles were still being parked along the street in the area of the church and Curlee's.
They are not being towed, he said.
Smith said church members called police over the past weekend to complain about the vehicles.
"They [officers] asked people to move," Smith said. "I thought they would tow them."
Smith said he and the pastor plan to meet with Mayor Young this week and ask him to "enforce the law."
Mayor Young said Tuesday morning that "no parking" signs were put up in the area.
"If there are still concerns, we will address them," he said.
"Everyone who is parked in those areas, we ordered the PD to move the vehicles unless there is a special circumstance like a church function," he said, noting that Goodway church members do not park on the street during their regular services.
Chief Cox said that police patrols had increased in the area along Atkins Street.
Rev. Rush and several church members also appeared before the Board of Aldermen in July 2011, complaining about activities going on at Curlee's and the subsequent crime in the area.