A bizarre assault and chase played out in Upper Darby and Lansdowne on Thursday as a man shot a 19-year-old man, fled from police, and crashed his car in the attempted getaway.
Through all of it, the man's two children, both 3, were snug in their car seats until he grabbed them as he ran from police.
At 12:20 p.m., a shooting was reported on the 200 block of Sheffield Road in Upper Darby, Police Superintendent Michael J. Chitwood said. Shortly after officers arrived, Chitwood said, the 19-year-old came out of the house where witnesses said the shooting occurred. He had been pistol-whipped and shot in the left shoulder with a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, authorities said.
Police determined that Eric Pagan Afanador, 37, of Midway Avenue in Lansdowne, had been looking to confront the 19-year-old. A few weeks earlier, Chitwood said, the younger man allegedly had pushed Afanador's 10-year-old son as they and others were outside learning to box.
Witnesses described an older Chevrolet being driven from the scene Thursday. Lansdowne authorities identified it and took up the pursuit of Afanador, who has an arrest record for drug offenses, assault, resisting arrest, and burglary, Chitwood said.
Afanador lost control of the car and crashed at Rigby and Baltimore Avenues in Lansdowne. Video from a camera in the area showed he got out and started to run.
But then he returned to the Chevy, took his son and daughter out of their car seats, and ran off holding one in each arm. When Upper Darby and Lansdowne police surrounded him at gunpoint, he put the children down and surrendered.
The 19-year-old, whose name police did not release, was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Afanador was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats, and two counts of recklessly endangering the welfare of children. The youngsters were turned over to their grandmother.
Chitwood sounded incredulous about Afanador.
"At one point in this caper, he tries to kill a guy. At another point, he puts the kids in car seats."
Said Chitwood, noting the crash: "The car seats probably saved their lives."