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Warrant issued for alleged Chinatown groper

1 Warrant issued for groping suspect Spring Street near 10th, Chinatown

1 Warrant issued for groping suspect

Spring Street near 10th, Chinatown

An arrest warrant has been issued for a 24-year-old man on charges of groping a 23-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl in Chinatown last week.

After police released a surveillance video from one of the incidents, investigators received an anonymous phone tip Tuesday identifying Melvin Bulls as their wanted man.

Police said Bulls' last known addresses were on Ridge Avenue near Wallace Street, on Bonsall Street near Federal and on Hamilton Street near 9th.

The groping incidents occurred in Chinatown at 4:55 and 6:25 p.m. Thursday, when a man came up from behind the victims and touched their buttocks, police said.

Tipsters should call the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251 or x-3265.

2 Cops nab suspect in summer slaying

Clearfield Street near Broad, North Philadelphi

Police on Wednesday arrested Bryant Young in the murder of an 18-year-old in North Philly last summer.

Young, 27, allegedly shot Raheem Cropper to death in the early-morning hours of July 11. Cops tracked down Young on Springer Street near Germantown Avenue in East Mount Airy.

Court records show that Young pleaded guilty in 2005 to possession of an illegal firearm and drug possession and was sentenced to one to two years' jail time for those offenses.

3 Three held hostage in robbery attempt

42nd and Ogden streets, West Philadelphia

Cops said a vigilant passer-by alerted them to a robbery-turned-hostage-situation inside a Chinese takeout early Wednesday.

The owner of the takeout was smoking a cigarette outside a side entrance to the store as he closed up shop about midnight when he was approached by a man in his 20s who forced him back inside, said Lt. John Walker of the Southwest Detective Division.

Two other robbers went into the store, cops said. At least one of the three assailants was armed with a handgun.

A passer-by saw the store owner being forced inside and flagged down a police officer.

When cops arrived at the scene, they looked through the partially closed metal security grates and saw two men in the front of the store stuffing money into their pockets, Walker said. Police said cops at the scene could also hear people inside crying.

Cops declared a barricade and called SWAT officers to the scene. The standoff lasted about 2?1/2 hours while the trio of robbers attempted to find ways to escape the building through the roof to elude capture, Walker said. They surrendered to cops about 2:30 a.m.

The store owner was pistol-whipped during the attempted robbery and suffered a bump and some cuts to his head, but was not wounded badly enough to need medical treatment. A woman and an 11-year-old girl who were also inside the building at the time were not physically harmed.

The three suspects, all in their 20s, were arrested at the scene.

Walker said cops were gathering evidence Wednesday and recovered one 9 mm handgun inside the store.

4 Teen shot 4 times, critically wounded

62nd and Callowhill streets, West Philadelphia

A 16-year-old boy was clinging to life Wednesday night after walking out of a corner store and into a hail of bullets on the corner of 62nd Street and Callowhill in West Philadelphia.

Shots rang out about 8:10 p.m., and neighbors said they opened their doors to find the boy lying on the pavement beneath the store's green-and-yellow awning, bleeding from at least four gunshot wounds.

Four teens were in the neighborhood visiting their aunt, and were asked to go to the corner store. The victim went inside while three others waited on the corner, police said.

When the victim walked outside, a Pontiac — which police said may have been black or green — pulled up to the corner. The passenger rolled his window down and fired two shots at the teens, paused and then fired three more shots, said Lt. John Walker, of the Southwest Detective Division.

The teens stood outside as bystanders rushed into the store to seek refuge while neighbors called police.

The boy was shot twice in his head, once in the left side of his chest and once in his left arm, police said. A neighbor said she called the police and heard someone outside screaming, "Please save my brother!"

An officer from the 19th District put the boy into her squad car and rushed him to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was listed in critical condition as of 10:05 p.m.

Neighbors said the shooting may have stemmed from an ongoing conflict between neighborhood gangs. n

—Morgan Zalot, Phillip Lucas and staff reports