For parents, the idea of any harm coming to their children is the absolute worst thing they can imagine. When a car was stolen from outside a Philadelphia area pizza parlor last week containing three young children in the back seat, the father of two of the children along with an angry mob took out their anger on the alleged thief after catching up with him when he became stuck in traffic, resulting in his death.
According to news reports, a 25-year-old woman had parked her car outside of a pizza shop as she ran inside, leaving three children between the ages of 7 months and 5 years in the back seat of the car with the car still running. The woman had gone in to see her boyfriend, who was the father of two of the children in the car, as he worked inside the pizza shop. It was then that 54-year-old Eric Hood jumped in the running vehicle and drove off with all three children still in the backseat.
Hood didn't make it very far before he found himself stuck in traffic, where the father of the children was able to quickly catch up with him. NBC Philadelphia reports that the father pulled Hood from the vehicle and an altercation took place. Soon after bystanders also began to assault Hood, and when first responders arrived they found Hood unconscious with severe injuries to his head and face. Hood was pronounced dead after being transported to the hospital.
"The parents chased down the vehicle by foot and were able to remove the male from the vehicle," police said. "We're being told that other males in the area helped the boyfriend with this physical altercation and a physical struggle ensued," Chief Inspector Scott Small added.
Police have interviewed both the mother and the father and are asking anyone who has information about the assault or who may have taken part to come forward and contact police. "I'm not a fan of street justice," Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith said at a press conference Friday. "I think everything should play out through us as it comes to criminal actions."
Police have surveillance video of the fight and are awaiting toxicology reports to determine if Hood had any illegal substances in his system at the time of his death. So far, authorities have made no arrests. District Attorney Larry Krasner told the Philadelphia Inquirer that it was too early to comment on any potential charges arising from the incident. Fortunately, none of the children were injured in the incident.