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Attorney: Crane Operator In Deadly Collapse A ‘Scapegoat’

Sean Benschop (Credit: Philadelphia Police Department)

Sean Benschop (Credit: Philadelphia Police Department)

Dom Giordano Dom Giordano
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The lawyer for a crane operator charged after the deadly building collapse in Center City last week was on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Monday and said his client is being made to be a scapegoat.

Daine Grey Jr., attorney for Sean Benschop, spoke with WPHT’s Dom Giordano.

“I think my client is obviously the scapegoat in this. The city needs to point the finger at somebody and he’s the obvious person,” Grey Jr. told Giordano during a radio interview Monday.

Benschop has been charged with six counts of involuntary manslaughter, multiple counts of recklessly endangering others, and risking a catastrophe. He surrendered to police on Friday and is being held without bail. (See Related Story)

Police say Benschop had marijuana and a painkiller in his system the day the collapse happened.

Grey Jr. said he not seen the toxicology reports for his client.

The collapse happened at 22nd and Market Streets last Wednesday, killing six and injuring 13.

On Monday, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced that a grand jury will be convened to investigate the deadly collapse. (See Related Story)

Williams says they felt it prudent to charge Benschop now, but he won’t, in his words, “rush to judgment” against property owner Richard Basciano or demolition contractor Griffin Campbell or the City of Philadelphia.

LISTEN: Podcast With Daine Grey Jr.

Grey Jr. told Giordano that he feels the rush to judgment has already happened.

“We are still in the process of investigating exactly why the building collapsed, that hasn’t been determined yet. But despite the fact that it hasn’t been determined, we’ve already charged Mr. Benschop with six counts of manslaughter,” Grey Jr. said. “How do you charge somebody when you don’t know what caused the catastrophe? You charge somebody because you’re looking for a scapegoat.”

Grey Jr. said his client is not to blame for the collapse.

“He’s becoming the face of this crime when he in fact is not to blame.”

BUILDING COLLAPSE COMPLETE COVERAGE