Philadelphia, PA – A man who stole a vehicle with three young children inside was chased down and beaten to death by the kids’ father and other bystanders on Thursday night.
The incident occurred at approximately 9 p.m., after a 25-year-old woman left her three children inside her running vehicle while she ran inside a pizzeria to speak with her 25-year-old boyfriend, the New York Daily News reported.
Her boyfriend, who is an employee at the pizzeria, is also the father of two of her children.
While she was inside, a 54-year-old man suddenly jumped into her vehicle and sped away with the kids, ages five, one, and seven months, still in the car.
The father took off on foot after the stolen vehicle, and managed to catch up to the suspect when he became stuck in traffic a short distance away, WPVI reported.
"They were able to pull this car thief out of the vehicle,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told the news outlet. “He fled on foot about a half a block. And the boyfriend caught up to him and there was some sort of physical struggle that ensued.”
The father pummeled and kicked the suspect, and was soon joined by other men in the neighborhood, the New York Daily News reported.
The attack continued until the car thief was knocked unconscious.
The suspect was transported to Temple University Hospital with severe injuries to his face and head, and was pronounced dead just after 10 p.m., WCAU reported.
The children’s parents were both taken into custody for questioning, and are cooperating with investigators, Chief Small confirmed.
The altercation was also captured by nearby surveillance cameras, police said.
The kids were not physically injured during the incident, and have been placed in the care of other family members for the time being, according to the New York Daily News.
The Philadelphia Police Department Homicide Unit and the District Attorney’s Office are working to determine whether or not the father will be charged in connection with the suspect’s death.