Last Words

Philadelphians speak out soberly about the city's spreading crime epidemic.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 4 | Posted Nov. 6, 2007

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"It's horrible. I've seen enough violence. I've seen a lot in the last couple years. I myself was touched by violence years ago, but it still hurts. I feel sad for young people, taking each other for granted, targeting each other. The main problem is the parents. They can't take care of a situation at home, and it spreads to the streets, the schools and everywhere else. I have an 18-year-old daughter, and I've been a bodyguard to her for all those years. I feel sad. It's 10 times worse these days. Ten times."


Dave Lai

Neighborhood: West Philadelphia.
Occupation: Shop owner.

"Back in the '80s the city was everyone in one spot. There was a section for everybody. This neighborhood wasn't violent at all when we moved here. It was violent before that. It's changed four or five times already. Now it's better. I see a lot less violence now in the neighborhood, but more in the city. People are more desperate in different areas."


Adam Simkin

Age: 18
Neighborhood: University City.
Occupation: Student.

"I'm a freshman at Penn, so I've been here only a couple months. During the summer the university sent a letter out about these attacks by small groups of, like, fifth-graders. I haven't witnessed any incidences of violence. We hear about things going on. You just learn that there are certain places you shouldn't go to at certain times, so I don't go there during those times. I feel very safe. Around campus, all the way to 44th, there's Penn security. They don't carry weapons, but there's a presence. Having a presence, a face, is good. It lets people know there's someone there, that there's someone who cares."


Chris Verdi (left)

Age: 16
Neighborhood: South Philadelphia.
Occupation: Student.

"How do I cope with the violence? I don't go outside. I'm an insider."

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Comments 1 - 4 of 4
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1. Joey Showers said... on Jan 9, 2009 at 08:04PM

“Andre Mathis went to jail for abusing children, both sexually and physically. He is also known for beating and stalking women. He is the last person you should get advise from on how to stop violence. He is a piece of trash!”

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2. victim said... on Jan 10, 2009 at 08:49PM

“ First of all, Andre Mathis' real name is Aundra Bruce Mathis. I sincerely doubt that he is a construction worker, too. When I knew him, he was selling his body to gay men out of Pentoney"s Bar. He is a PEDIPHILE, CHILD ABUSER, WOMAN ABUSER, LOSER, and a poor excuse for a man, a waste of his father's sperm, and should be incarcerated for the rest of his worthless life.”

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3. Laura Schaeffer said... on Jan 10, 2009 at 09:14PM

“Stop taking advise from people like Andre Mathis, Philly. This man is a sex-offender and a pediphile. Look up his criminal record. It's all documented. ”

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4. Nikki said... on Jul 14, 2013 at 04:47PM

“Please help me get more info on this dude. He claims to be my dad and wants contact with me and my son. I've tried to google his record but I can't get it.”


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