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Philadelphia judge hopeful faced beating allegations by son

Offices decide no crime was committed, but the incident may cost Sierra Thomas Street the Democratic Party’s endorsement.

Sierra Thomas Street's endorsement is now in question.
Sierra Thomas Street's endorsement is now in question.Read more

THE 13-YEAR-OLD ran three blocks from his mother's West Philly home to the 16th Police District on March 7, telling officers she had just beaten him with a belt, a metal ladder and her fists.

He was crying, shaking and distraught, with scratches around the eyes, cheeks and neck, according to a four-page police domestic-violence report obtained by the Daily News.

His mother, Sierra Thomas Street, ex-wife of Sharif Street, is now a candidate for judge in Philadelphia.

The Police Department's Special Victims Unit and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office later decided no crime was committed during the March 7 incident. But it may cost Thomas Street the Democratic Party's endorsement.

Sharif Street, who is the boy's father, declined to comment Tuesday. Sharif Street is the son of former Mayor John Street.

The police report said their 10-year-old daughter witnessed the incident at Thomas Street's home. According to the report, Thomas Street, 39, told her son to call his father to pick him up but then berated an uncle sent to give him a ride. The uncle left without the boy, and Thomas Street "went after [her son] with a metal belt in her hand," the report said.

The boy told investigators that his mother struck him with the belt until it broke, continued to hit him with it and then struck him with a "metal bunk-bed ladder." Thomas Street tackled the boy when he tried to get away, punching and slapping him before he ran out of her house, the report said.

Thomas Street on Tuesday described the incident as a private "family situation."

"Of course, I have to defend myself against any false accusations," Thomas Street said. "But that could involve throwing my son under the bus and I'm not prepared to do that."

Thomas Street later had an attorney release a statement from her that said, " . . . it is not unheard of for spurious allegations to be made when a teenager is unhappy with one or more parents, or recently witnessed the separation/divorce between parents."

Thomas Street, during an initial interview with the Daily News on Tuesday, expressed concern about the police report being made public while she is running for judge, calling this "a totally inconvenient time for this to surface."

"I'm sure you understand that people take their shots when they can," she added.

The Democratic Party's Policy Committee recommended Thomas Street on Monday evening for one of six endorsements for six vacant seats on the Court of Common Pleas. She has the fifth position on the ballot, valuable political real estate in a field of 36 candidates.

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, the city's Democratic chairman, said Tuesday that he wanted to look into the incident. He said he may ask the African-American Ward Leaders group to withdraw Thomas Street's name for consideration of the full Democratic City Committee endorsement and offer another candidate in her place.

A spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Police Department said the case, investigated by the Special Victims Unit and the city's Department of Human Services, was forwarded to the District Attorney's Office.

Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, said the "Special Victims Unit and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office have concluded that there was no criminal conduct in the incident and no charges will be filed against Ms. Street."