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Philly police arrest 22 in annual V-Day warrant sweep

In their 16th annual predawn Valentine’s Day warrant sweep, more than 50 cops searched for 300 fugitives

By Dana DiFilippo
The Philadelphia Daily News

PHILADELPHIA — No sweet love and kisses here. Cops woke up 22 fugitives Thursday morning with hand shackles and a ride to jail.

In their 16th annual, predawn Valentine’s Day warrant sweep, more than 50 cops fanned out across Philadelphia and its surrounding counties in search of about 300 fugitives wanted on warrants for offenses big and small. They caught 22 of them in the five-hour sweep and hauled them in to Family Court for processing.

“I’m an Afghanistan veteran. Thanks, America!” a shackled fugitive barked at reporters on his way into the courthouse. Another shouted expletives at news photographers.

But Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams had little sympathy for the nabbed fugitives, who will get no roses or candy on a day celebrating sweethearts.

“They’ll be eating cheese sandwiches today,” Williams said. Fugitives “creep around like little rats so they don’t get caught. But today, we have taken some bad guys off the street.”

Williams noted that his office organizes the Valentine’s Day sweep every year so “it would seem to me these people should know we’re coming.”

The fugitives caught were wanted for crimes including robbery, theft, driving under the influence, failure to pay child support and failure to show up in court, Williams said.

He urged fugitives to turn themselves in. Tipsters who know of any fugitives’ whereabouts can call deputies at 215-686-3578.

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