Once again, the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese — a Queens woman who was brutally stabbed to death as neighbors stood by and watched impassively — is invoked. But there are differences. Genovese’s killing was over in seconds and took place under cover of night. The pummeling of a defenseless woman in Philadelphia by a shirtless man in plain sight of spectators continued for close to half an hour — and in broad daylight. Again, no one called the police or intervened. One witness took action, but that was limited to extracting his cell phone from his pocket so he could record the vicious attack.
The story gets more outrageous still. According to Philadelphia Fox affiliate WTXF, when police finally arrived on the scene after learning about the commotion, it was the assailant who flagged them down, claiming that he was the victim.
Police did interview bystanders. One is reported as saying:
I did hear a commotion earlier. I didn’t pay no mind and then I came out and the guy was on top of the girl.
The witness who recorded the video, which follows, was asked if anyone tried to help the woman. His answer:
No one, just bystanders, smiling laughing. Just standing around like a normal day, like nothing was even happening.
Himself included, it would appear. He later explained:
I didn’t want to jump in and be a hero and just get hurt you know. I’s [sic] bad out here.