PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A man from the city’s Brewerytown neighborhood has pleaded guilty to attempted murder, robbery, and other charges after stabbing a man earlier this year in a busy underground center city complex.
On that January morning, 65-year-old Ben Davis (below right) had just dropped off his wife at a hairdressing salon in the underground concourse of the Mellon Independence Center (the former Lit Brothers department store), at 7th and Market Streets.
As he emerged from a quick stop in a nearby restroom, he was stabbed in the back by 23-year-old William Berrioz, who was attempting to rob him.
Davis tried to fight him off but was stabbed six or seven times in the neck, chest, and back before stumbling out of the restroom into the hair salon (see related story).
A security guard, 26-year-old Mahmoud Jaaa (known as “Joe”), yelled for Berrioz to stop but the attacker punched him and ran.
Jaaa gave chase while Davis’ wife, Sandra, called 911. She says she is grateful that Jaaa continued to chase her husband’s attacker until police caught him outside.
“That guy would have been out and in the street and hit someone else,” she recalls, “but Joe said, ‘I’m not going to let him go. I’m young, he’s young, and I’m not going to let him go,’ ” she recounts gratefully.
“He deserves a whole lot of credit,” adds Ben Davis. “I thank him from the bottom of my heart. Hopefully, the people he worked for will reward him for such.”
Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060