John Stevenson choked up as he told cops how grateful he is that they arrested his son’s alleged murderer, so he can stop living with a painful question: Did they get him yet?
Stevenson (pictured with Chief Dean Esserman) expressed his thanks at a Tuesday afternoon press conference at police headquarters. He and other family members gathered with top police brass to mark the arrest of the man who police say killed Stevenson’s son, Robert Stevenson, on Saturday.
Robert, who was 49, was found dead from stabbing in a Spring Street apartment in the Hill on Sunday morning. On Monday, Police arrested his alleged killer after beat cop Officer Joe Roberts spotted the suspect on Sherman Avenue.
Police Chief Esserman singled Roberts (pictured) out for praise for the arrest. “You honor us with the uniform you wear,” he said.
Several members of the victim’s family spoke. Robert Stevenson’s mother, Leola Davis (at center in photo), thanked police for the “great compassion” they showed. “We’ll always be grateful.”
“You all did a great job, a wonderful job,” John Stevenson told cops. He said the hardest thing about the experience was “you have to wonder.” Each moment, you have to wonder if the police arrested your son’s murderer, he said.
The victim had called 911 Saturday night after he’d been stabbed. He told the dispatcher he’d been stabbed, but didn’t give an address. Five cops searched for him, checked hospitals, and “pinged” his cell phone to see where the call came from. They weren’t able to find him until someone called Saturday morning and told cops where the body was.
Assistant Chief Archie Generoso was asked if the police dispatcher messed up by not getting the man’s address when he originally called, or whether the victim hung up before the dispatcher could ask. Generoso did not have an answer at this point. He said the police department is conducting a review of the investigation, from the time the crime was first reported. The murder victim called police on Saturday night to say he’d been stabbed, but didn’t give an address. Five cops searched for him, checked hospitals, and “pinged” his cell phone to see where the call came from. They weren’t able to find him until someone called Saturday morning and told cops where the body was.
“We’re critiquing this incident,” Generoso said. “We’ll be completely open with our investigation.”
In other police news, according to police spokesman Office Dave Hartman:
Two Arrested For Robbery: At 7:30 p.m. on Monday, a man called police to report an armed robbery at the corner of Congress Avenue and Bond Street. After a foot chase, cops caught both alleged robbers. Police also found a black Hi-Point .40-caliber pistol and a loaded magazine. The victim ID’d the two arrested men as the robbers.
Crash Investigation Turns Up Burglary Tools: Police responded to the scene of a car accident at Webster and Goffe streets at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. A stolen Honda had hit a utility pole. Police found a man whose story kept changing. Cops also found a black backpack with “bolt cutters, a flash light, several different Honda car keys, a Honda key fob, three flat-head screwdrivers, a pack of batteries and a prescription medicine bottle containing 51 Hydrocodone pills.”
Every part of the man’s story turned out to be false. Police arrested him for “criminal trover in the first degree (for forcing the ignition of the car), larceny in the third degree, possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with the intent to sell, possession of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a school, possession of burglary tools, evading responsibility and operating a MV without a license.”
Person Shot: A 15-year-old was shot at the Farnam Courts public housing project on Grand Avenue just before midnight Monday. The victim wouldn’t cooperate with police and refused to answer questions. The victim went through surgery and was in stable condition.
“Police are investigating a possible connection to a rift between rival gangs as a contributing factor in this case. Ballistic evidence of the shooting was located in the complex,” Hartman said.
Nightclub Arrests:Police responded to the aftermath of a large fight at the corner of Temple and George streets on Friday. Police found two men, 24 and 26, lying unconscious, having suffered head wounds. They were taken to the hospital for the treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
The next night, police interrupted another fight, near the corner of Crown and Temple streets. As they arrested one man, two women jumped on the cops. They were also arrested.