Philadelphia police need help in their hunt for the teen suspects involved in the death of 73-year-old James “Simmie” Lambert, who was beaten to death with a traffic cone last month. A nearby camera captured the attack.
Police released the video to the public on YouTube and semi-clear photos of the suspects from the footage in hopes of someone recognizing them and turning them over to officials.
According to the video, the incident happened on June 24, 2022, at approximately 2:38 a.m. on the 2100 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Police said three girls and four boys in their early to mid-teens appeared to be responsible for the man’s death. The video showed Lambert trying to escape from the teens chasing after him and one of the suspects in a hoodie lifting the traffic cone over their heads and striking the victim, causing a head injury.
One of the female suspects grabbed the same cone off the ground and slammed it on the man. The same girl picked up the cone and attacked the 73-year-old senior again. Some teens scurried off while one hopped on a scooter and rode off next to the female who struck Lambert twice.
Police transported Lambert to the hospital, where he died from his injuries the following day.
The video includes multiple camera angles showing the teens. Around the two-minute and 16-second mark, a teen is seen in a hoodie. Officials marked the footage with a red circle around the person’s head to note that one of the suspects has a patch of blonde hair on their head. Another portion of the video shows one of the suspects acting out as a stumbling person, possibly mimicking Lambert when he was attacked.
Officials announced on their website that they are offering $20,000 to anyone with information that will lead to an arrest and conviction, something they do for every homicide.
Some of his family members spoke to NBC 10 about the tragedy.
“It’s so evil. How could you do that to a person,” Lambert’s older sister, Elsie Stephens, asked. “You have a mother and a father. How could you just beat a man until you take off half of his skill.”
Lambert’s niece, Tania Stephens, said she couldn’t understand the reasoning behind the attack.
“Even I can’t comprehend that teenagers would beat an old person in the street for no apparent reason.”
Police urge people to call the police once they spot the teens immediately. Anyone with information about the attack can submit their information online, over the phone, or text at 215-686-(8477).