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Pennsylvania

Philly Cops: Teen punched officer as he broke up brawl of 50

| Wednesday, June 7, 2017, 9:57 p.m.

A 16-year-old boy who was part of a large fight involving about 50 people in the Rittenhouse Square area on Tuesday afternoon repeatedly punched a Philadelphia bicycle police officer in the face when the officer tried to usher the teen away from the scene, authorities said.

The incident was the latest in a recent string of cases involving teens allegedly assaulting adults in Philadelphia.

Police said around 2:25 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to 15th and Chestnut Streets for reports of a fight. Authorities found about 50 juveniles in the area, some fighting, and began to separate the individuals and disperse the crowd, police said.

When a bicycle officer told a 16-year-old and another boy to move away from the scene, the teen reached over the officer's bike and punched him in the face several times, police said. Other officers on the scene grabbed the boy, took him to the ground, and placed him in custody.

The officer, whose identity was not released, was treated for scratches and bruises to his face at Hahnemann University Hospital, police said.

On Monday, police announced the arrest of two teens, ages 18 and 19, for shooting into a crowd of about 30 people on May 20 in North Philadelphia, injuring 10. Monday evening, a video of a group of teens and a 12-year-old assaulting a man with intellectual disabilities in Germantown went viral.

By Tuesday, police had connected some of the youths involved in that assault with the assault of a school principal in Germantown last week who was hit in the face with a brick when he tried to break up a schoolyard fight. On Wednesday morning, police announced they had filed charges against two of the teens in the assault on the principal as the investigation into the assault of the other man continued.

The teenagers have been charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy, recklessly endangering another person, and related offenses.

One of the two 15-year-old boys facing charges in that case is also under investigation in the unprovoked assault of Mark Smith, a 38-year-old man with an intellectual disability whose beating by juveniles was captured in a video that went viral Monday, a police spokeswoman said. The second 15-year-old charged in the assault on the principal is the brother of another suspect in the assault on Smith and may have been present for that assault as well, according to police.

Charges have not yet been filed against the juveniles who watched or participated in Smith's assault, but the investigation remains ongoing, police said.

Authorities are not releasing the names of the suspects involved in any of the incidents because they are juveniles.

The two assaults happened two days and three blocks apart from each other in Germantown.

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