As chief of the Homicide Unit in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Anthony Voci deals with death on a daily basis. But the night of Sept. 16, after leaving the scene of a shooting in Spring Garden that left two young men dead, Voci said he was nearly killed himself by a reckless driver in a fit of road rage.
No one was injured, and no vehicles were damaged, but based on Voci’s complaint, police tracked the license plate to Khasandra Franklin’s home in the 1300 block of Johnson Street, towed her car, and arrested her. She was initially charged with aggravated assault, a felony, but that charge was dropped the next day along with lesser charges of possession of an instrument of crime, simple assault, tampering with evidence, and obstruction of justice, according to court records.
Franklin, 24, now faces charges of recklessly endangering another person and reckless driving, both misdemeanors. She has a court hearing Oct. 19 and is being represented by the Defender Association of Philadelphia, according to the records.
Franklin could be not reached for comment.
But David Fisher, president of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the National Black Police Association Inc., questioned whether the prosecutor overstepped his bounds.
"You use Philadelphia detectives to do a photo array so that you can identify a driver, and you go to her home to tow her car and arrest her?” said Fisher, a retired Philadelphia cop who said he does not know Franklin but whose advocacy organization represents about 200 officers in the region. “Would you get that same service if your vehicle was stolen from in front of your house?”
Voci, contacted by phone Wednesday, said: “The Attorney General’s Office charged this case and is prosecuting it. As both the chief of homicide in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the victim in this case, I think it’s inappropriate for me to comment further in fairness to the process. But the facts of this case will speak for themselves.”
A Police Department spokesperson also declined to comment Wednesday because the case is active.
In police reports, the incident is described as a case of “road rage” that began in the northbound lanes of Kelly Drive as Voci, 57, was heading home from the double murder scene on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
At the intersection of Kelly Drive and Midvale Avenue, Voci told police, a “greyish bronze” car came up on his left, cut right directly in front of him, “causing him to swerve to the right, basically riding the edge of the road to avoid being struck."
Concerned for his safety, Voci said, he accelerated to about 70 miles per hour to elude the car, only to see in his rearview mirror that it was closing in as he approached the exits for Ridge Avenue and Lincoln Drive, the police report said.
The car passed him then “cut drastically to the right" cutting him off again, the report states. “To avoid being hit by this car, [Voci] had to swerve right and apply front and rear brakes, again, basically riding the edge of the road,” said the report, which noted that Voci feared he would skid and lose control of his motorcycle.
At a red light at the intersection with Wissahickon Avenue, Voci said, he pulled his motorcycle in front of the car, walked to the driver’s window and showed her his District Attorney’s Office credential, the report said. The prosecutor said he told her that the police were on the way and that she had to remain there, but that she used an expletive, backed up, and drove off, the report said.
Shortly before 5 the next morning, police arrived at Franklin’s home to tow her car, the report said. She tried to stop them, and at one point stood on the tow truck, the report said. Voci identified her from a six-photo array and at the scene of the arrest, according to the report.
Court records show Franklin is awaiting trial on another case — DUI, reckless driving, and speeding charges from a Jan. 18 arrest in Montgomery County.