Police seek two Philadelphia men on murder charges in Pat’s Steaks killing
Authorities have issued arrest warrants for two Philadelphia men wanted on murder charges in connection with the death of a 28-year-old New York soccer fan early Thursday at Pat’s King of Steaks.
Philadelphia police issued arrest warrants Sunday for two city men wanted on murder charges in connection with the death of a 28-year-old New York soccer fan early Thursday at Pat’s King of Steaks in South Philadelphia.
They identified the two as Osvaldo “Willie” Pedraza, 34, of the 2600 block of East Norris Street in Kensington, and Victor Pedraza, 32, of the 1400 Block of South Percy Street in South Philadelphia. The pair are wanted on charges of murder, attempted murder, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, and other offenses.
Police provided no further information on the suspects, and said their relationship was unknown. The suspects were initially misidentified by the surname “Pedrazza.”
Police said they are also investigating the role that two other suspects played in the case, and said the investigation is “fluid and ongoing.”
The charges stem from an argument early Thursday over post-match cheesesteaks that escalated into a brawl that left Isidro Cortes of Queens, N.Y., dead, and his father and another man injured near the iconic Pat’s King of Steaks in South Philadelphia.
“It was just mayhem,” said Pat’s owner Frank Olivieri after viewing security footage of the deadly confrontation. “I’m never going to get this vision out of my mind that I watched on the videotape.”
The trio got into an argument with four men wearing the yellow jerseys of Club América. The Union lost to the Mexico City team in Chester on Wednesday in the Concacaf Champions League semifinal, and police said the victims had attended the game before stopping for cheesesteaks.
The four Club América fans then beat the three men, bludgeoning Cortes to death with hands, fists, and a metal trash can lid, police said.
Cortes, who lived in the Corona neighborhood, worked as an accounts payable associate at Omnicom Health Group in Jersey City, according to his LinkedIn profile. He had taken classes at Baruch College and Borough of Manhattan Community College, where he was part of an accounting club.
Friends of Cortes organized a Go Fund Me campaign to help pay for funeral costs. They described him as an ardent fan of Club América, the same club whose jerseys police say the assailants wore. What set off the argument is unclear.
Police did not believe that Cortes, his father, or the other person in their group knew the people they were talking to before the violence occurred. Instead, video shows the groups eating cheesesteaks and chatting with each other. The situation did not appear hostile.
“All of a sudden it went sideways,” said Homicide Capt. Jason Smith. “When it went bad, it went real bad.”
A manager heard the sounds of a scuffle, called the police and yelled to the group that she had done so, which broke up that fight, Olivieri said.
But out of view behind Pat’s along Wharton Street, the beating apparently continued, Olivieri said. When officers arrived, they found Cortes unresponsive on the street with head trauma. Medics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Cortes’ father and the other man were taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in stable condition, police said.
Police asked that anyone with information contact homicide detectives at 215-686-3334, dial 911, or leave an anonymous tip at 215-686-TIPS.