Please Note: This story contains details of violence and violence against the elderly that readers may find upsetting.
As per CCTV footage provided by the Philadelphia Police Department on Friday, a group of seven adolescents used a traffic cone to assault and kill a 73-year-old man in Philadelphia last month.
An unnerving video of the June 14 event shows a group of late teens pursuing the septuagenarian through the 2100 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue in the city’s northwest corridor. James Lambert has been recognized as the victim.
At around 3 a.m., one of the male offenders struck the 73-year-old from behind with a traffic cone. Lambert then managed to walk away from the group, but was knocked to the ground by the hit, at which point one of the ladies in the group seized the cone and struck him again.
Other gang members, who appeared to be delighted and smiling during the assault, recorded the incident. One of the women appeared surprised by the incident and clamped her hands over her lips.
Lambert was taken to the hospital and died the next day, according to investigators. Lambert’s niece, Tania Stephens, 63, expressed that this is disgusting. They can’t stop sobbing. Who is responsible for this? Anyone reasonable would not assault and murder an older citizen going along the street. Simmie deserved better.
Stephens reported that she grew up with various generations of her family, including her uncle, in a big estate in the city’s Fairmount area. Many family members still live within a few blocks of one another. Stephens’ dad died when she was 12 years old, and her uncle, a retired construction worker, “stepped up” to assist her mother care for her and her 10 siblings.
Tania’s mom, Elsie Lambert Stephens, and him were so close that Simmie, as the family lovingly referred to the victim, regularly went to her house for supper. Every Thanksgiving, the entire family gathers at Elsie’s house. According to Stephens, all would always inquire, “Where is Simmie?” and “Has Simmie arrived yet?” He simply had this attitude, this coolness about him. And he always wore clothes straight out of GQ.
According to Stephens, Lambert never married and has two kids and three grandchildren. He overcame a heroin addiction in the 1960s.
He had allegedly just completed eating at his sister Elsie’s house when he was attacked. Stephans stated that her mother handed him his dish. She served him grilled chicken, mac & cheese, and a dinner bun. He is late, she said, and there are no sides left.
The Philadelphia Police Department is offering a $20,000 reward for leading to the arrest of the criminals, described as “four Black guys and three Black females in their early to mid-teens.”
A police official told the newspaper on Saturday that there had been no new breakthroughs in the inquiry.
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