In a philly.com poll on whether readers believe vigilantes should be prosecuted, “no” is leading “yes” by a 2-to-1 margin right now (64.6% to 27.6% with 7.8% “not sure”). This after residents in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia severely beat a “person of interest” in a case involving the rape of an 11-year-old:
Many in law enforcement – whose pleas for community help sometimes go unanswered – were surprised when numerous Kensington residents offered to catch Carrasquillo themselves.
“This case affected nearly everybody,” said Capt. Daniel Castro, of the 24th District, in North Philadelphia.
“Law-abiding citizens were out there with police officers. We even had chronic drug dealers coming up to us, wanting to see his picture. That tells me there is some code, even among the criminal element,” he said.
While pleased with the community support, Castro added that police were opposed to violent vigilantism.
Another man, Michael Zenquis, told police he was attacked by a separate angry mob in Kensington Tuesday.
“Apparently, they assumed he was [Carrasquillo] and beat him up,” Castro said.
Zenquis, who could not be reached for comment, had minor injuries but declined to press charges, Castro said.
[via The Awl.]