Following an exhaustive and collaborative multi-agency manhunt, two Philadelphia men were arrested Sunday in connection with carjacking a SUV, kidnapping the driver, losing control of that SUV and then plowing into a crowd of people last weekend in North Philly where three young children were killed and their mother left in critical condition. And now charges of rape have been added to the alleged carjacker’s list of atrocities.
Cornelius Crawford, 23, and Jonathan Rosa, 19, were arrested Sunday, charged on Monday, and arraigned Tuesday on charges that include murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, robbery, aggravated assault and sexual assault, according to Philly.com. Also on July 29, a Philadelphia judge denied bail to the two suspects accused of killing the three children who were selling fruit on the corners of Germantown and Allegheny Avenues as they were trying to raise funds for their church.
The charges against the two were announced by representatives of the Philadelphia Police Department on Monday. Police say that Crawford and Rosa forced a female real estate agent into her SUV and “physically and sexually assaulted her, and took off at high speed.” While speeding through North Philly, cops say that the SUV had a blowout and eventually slammed into the crowd of people, killing the three children and seriously injuring at least three adults.
The crash killed 15-year-old Keiearra Williams, 10-year-old Thomas Joseph Reed, and 7-year-old Terrence Williams. Their mother, Keisha Williams, was critically injured and remained Monday night at Temple University Hospital.
Williams announced that NBA great Charles Barkley had offered to pay for the children's funerals.
Homicide Capt. James Clark said at a news conference that "What they did was indefensible and unforgivable." Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey added that the tragedy was a "terrible, terrible event that took the lives of three innocent children."
CBS News in Philadelphia reported that Rosa surrendered himself to police on Sunday and made a full confession. Reportedly, Rosa confirmed that Crawford was driving the SUV at a high rate of speed when the SUV’s tire blew out. Federal agents and Philly cops caught up with Crawford and arrested him in North Philly later on Sunday.
Police said that Crawford and Rosa robbed the female real estate agent of $3,000 in cash before raping her and carjacking her SUV. The carjack victim suffered “broken ribs, cuts, and bruises in the subsequent crash.” Crawford and Rosa are looking at life in prison if convicted.