By Mike Dunn and Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Three suspects got out of a car and beat a young man to death, but the driver stayed in the car. He never got out and he didn’t participate in the fight. That is the man Philadelphia police want to track down.
The horrific beating death of 23-year-old Kevin Kless caught the attention of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
Nutter spoke with the grieving mother of the murdered Temple University graduate, who was beaten to death this weekend during a late night attack in Old City.
An emotional Mayor Nutter said he had “a very heartfelt” phone conversation with Kendall Kless in upstate New York, in which he expressed his condolences for the beating death of her son.
At a Martin Luther King event on Monday, Nutter said he and police would do everything they can to track down the killers of the 2010 Temple University graduate.
“I called his mother four hours ago and I said to her ‘there’s nothing I can really say to you, what can I say? That we’re deeply sorry, that we’re in pain and we’re suffering, but yours is worse.’”
It was 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning when the beating occurred on the steps of the historic Second Bank of the United States near 4th and Chestnut Streets. Kless, his girlfriend and another woman left Lucy’s bar on Market Street and headed to Chestnut Street to hail a cab. (see related stories).
Police and Kevin’s dad, John Kless, believe people must have seen the beating.
“I need anybody that was in the area at the time to please call police,” he told Eyewitness News. “I’m completely numb. I can’t say another word, I can’t cry anymore.”
At some point, police believe Kless yelled at a cabbie for having his cab light on while driving with passengers, that’s when three men in a car near the cab got out, possibly believing kless was yelling at them.
“As the decedent walked off, three of the four males in this vehicle got out and viscously and unprovoked brutally attacked him,” said Philadelphia Police Capt. James Clark.
Kless was rushed to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where he died Saturday night.
The City of Philadelphia is offering a $10,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspects responsible for the murder of Kevin Kless.
For the driver who stayed in the car, police contend, if he comes forward, prosecutors may be willing to work a deal with him, but if he doesn’t he will face the same charges as everyone else.
Philadelphia police investigators have released the following descriptions of the suspects:
Suspect #1: Middle-Eastern male, 20 years-of-age, 5-10″, thin build, wearing a white shirt with blue stripes.
Suspect #2: Middle-Eastern male, 20 years-of-age, 6’0″, medium build, with a maroon shirt.
Suspect #3: Middle Eastern male, 6’2, no further information.
Suspect #4: Middle Eastern male, no further information.
Police are looking at surveillance video in the area.
The car is described as a sedan, possibly maroon in color.