A car thief who stole a vehicle with children inside was chased down and beaten to death by the kids’ father and other bystanders Thursday night, Philadelphia police said.
The violent ordeal began around 9 p.m. when a 25-year-old woman parked her Hyundai sedan outside a pizza shop on 29th and Dauphin streets in North Philadelphia.
The woman left her three young children inside the running car as she went inside to visit her boyfriend, who was an employee at the restaurant and the father of two of the kids, police said.
Suddenly, a 54-year-old man, later identified by police as Eric Hood, jumped into her car and sped off with the children, who are between the ages of 7 months and 5 years old, strapped inside, according to investigators.
The woman’s boyfriend ran after Hood, who drove about half a block before getting stuck in traffic at 29th and York streets, officials said.
The kids’ father then pulled him out of the car and beat Hood as other bystanders in the area joined the attack, according to investigators.
Medics responded to the scene and found the car thief unconscious with severe injuries to the head and face. Hood was taken to Temple University Hospital and pronounced dead shortly after 10 p.m.
The woman and her boyfriend were taken into police custody for questioning. Neither has been charged.
Police on Friday said they are reviewing Instragram video of the beating and looking for other witnesses. Police were also waiting on toxicology reports to determine if Hood had drugs in his system.
According to officials, Hood had at least 24 prior arrests and convictions.
None of the children were injured during the ordeal.