Monday, July 5, 2021

At PHA-Owned Crack House, Cops Find Two Bullet-Riddled Bodies

By Ralph Cipriano

Is the Philadelphia Housing Authority allowing one of its abandoned properties in West Philadelphia to operate as a crack house; a place where two weeks ago, the cops found two bullet-riddled bodies inside?

Police and neighbors say yes, but the mayor's office says no. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for PHA isn't talking.

On June 24th at 3:33 a.m., police officers in the 16th District responded to a radio call for a "person with a gun" and found two bullet-riddled bodies inside 4951 Hoopes Street. 

Tiyaine Kent, a 28 year-old black female, was found lying face up in the living room. She had suffered gunshot wounds to the head, abdomen and back. Eight minutes later, a fire department medic at the scene pronounced her dead.

The other victim, Kent Blake, a 34 year-old black male, suffered a gunshot wound in the chest. Medics transported Blake to Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was admitted in critical condition. Less than two hours later, at 5:22 a.m., he was pronounced dead.

The boarded-up, two-story brick row house on Hoopes Street is owned by PHA. It looks like an abandoned property, but three "residents" of that crack house told police that "they were placed there under an agreement from the homeless encampment from the summer of 2020."

Ever wonder what happened to those homeless "protesters" who formerly resided on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway? The cops say a trio of them have been holed up in a row house on Hoopes Street for months now, where they are sharing the space with a bunch of local drug addicts. The upshot is every day on Hoopes Street, it's party time.

But not everybody at City Hall agrees with that assessment.

Sarah Peterson, a deputy communications director who works in the mayor's office, and uses the pronouns "she/her/hers," said in an email that "4951 Hoopes Street is not part of any agreement with the city."

When I asked if the people inside were squatters, Peterson did not respond.

So I emailed Peterson a third time.

"Sarah, you never responded to this question," I wrote. "By not responding, that leads me to think there was some informal arrangement with either the city or PHA or both that allowed these formerly homeless people to stay at 4951 Hoopes St. In addition to the two murder victims, three other 'residents' of that crack house told the cops that they had permission from the city to stay there."

"Somebody's not telling the truth."

Rather than provide any answers, as she is paid to do, Peterson is still hiding under her desk.

As is Nicole Tillman, PHA's executive vice-president in charge of communications, who did not respond to several requests for comment delivered by phone and email.

A cop report describes the living room on the first floor of the crack house as sparsely furnished with a couch and love seat. The second floor, consisting of three bedrooms and a bathroom, was "almost completely empty of furniture and clothing," the police report says. Cops found two live 9 mm rounds outside the property.

In interviews with the three "residents" of the crack house, all three told the cops that they had permission to live there.

Kent Baptiste, a 35 year-old black male, said he showed up at 6 p.m. on June 23rd and observed a male and a group of females in the living room, all of whom "are drug addicts," the police report says.

Baptiste said he went upstairs to a front bedroom where he stays with two males known as Bob and Damian.

"All three were staying in a homeless encampment on the parkway about eight months ago," the police report says. 

"Baptiste states an agreement with the city of Philadelphia was reached with the homeless allowing them to live at certain city-owned properties."

"The three of them have been living there. Bob fell asleep. Baptiste and Damian were getting high on K2" when they heard gunshots, the police report says.

When he came downstairs, Baptiste told the cops, he saw "six other drug addicted females still in the living room." All three male residents of the crack house were transported to the homicide unit for questioning. 

Robert Smith, a 48 year-old white male, told the cops that he was sleeping upstairs at the crack house when he heard gun shots. He told the police he has been living on Hoopes Street for seven to nine months.

Damian Wade, a 28 year-old black male, stated that he "has been living at 4951 Hoopes Street after living on The Parkway with a homeless encampment named Camp JTD. He was granted squatter rights to live at 4951 Hoopes Street. He is living there with Smith and Baptiste," the police report says.

"A few weeks ago, people in the neighborhood have taken over the house," the police report says. "He [Wade] stays in the front room with the other two males. There is drug use, prostitution and partying taking place in the first floor."

"He [Wade] left the house at 7 p.m. to buy drugs and returned around 10:30 p.m. There were seven or eight people in the living room when he came back. He went upstairs to the bedroom and was getting high with Baptiste" when he heard five to seven shots followed by screaming.

A man who was walking by and heard gunshots told the cops he saw three females known as Coco, Moya and Machai running out of the house. The man told the cops he knows the females hang out at the house and get high.

Both murder victims had priors.

Blake, according to the cops, had 21 prior arrests for offenses that include auto theft, burglary, conspiracy, retail theft, simple assault, burglary, and robbery.

Kent had five prior arrests for simple assault, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, conspiracy and retail theft, and filing false reports to law enforcement.

The two murder victims preceded a bloody three-day July 4th weekend that racked up 48 shootings and a dozen murders.

As of last night, the city's murder rate, stands at 285, a 36% percent increase over last year's near record rate of 499 murders. At this current pace, the city will set an all-time record of 678 murders.

While drug addicts were partying at the crack house on Hoopes Street, and all over town, the dead bodies were piling up, what was Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw up to?

She was slapping down cold cuts at WaWa Hoagie Day, where they were making and giving away 15,000 hoagies.

Outlaw led a team of police officers who bested a team of firefighters in a hoagie-making contest. I'll say this about our current police commissioner, she'd make a great community relations officer.

Meanwhile, the families of the murder victims were trying to raise money to bury their dead.

On, a woman who identified herself as Tiyaine Kent's mother wrote, "On Thursday 6/24/21 my daughter Tiyaine was tragically murdered in West Philadelphia."

"It saddens my heart that the news is spreading misleading and false information. Despite the truth my daughter was a loving mother, daughter, and sister who leaves behind 3 small boys, ages 9, 6 & 3."

"We're raising money to help support my family during this difficult time. Donations will be used to pay for funeral expenses and in financial support of Tiyaine’s 3 boys. We are incredibly grateful for everyone's love and support."

So far, $75 has been raised.

On Hoopes Street last night, somebody had placed a memorial for the murder victims in front of the crack house that included flowers, a cross, and a candle. Nobody was answering the boarded-up front door but a neighbor said, "They're all inside."

Another neighbor who lives across the street said he wishes the cops would show up and "throw them the fuck out."

But a cop who ventured into the neighborhood said it's not the responsibility of the police to evict squatters. He said the situation was a mess, and that it was hard to find anyone at City Hall who was going  to be accountable, and take control of the situation.

The neighborhood, the cop said, was hard hit by drugs.

"That's a drug block," he said about the 4900 block of Hoopes Street. "You won't get an honest answer" from anybody on the block.

The same could be said about the bureaucrats at PHA and the mayor's office, when they're asked who's responsible for the crack house on Hoopes Street. 


  1. Outlaw making hoagie. Part of the annual Wawa Welcome America festival. Your tax dollars going to cops and firemen in a hoagie contest. Don't worry though, the cops making the hoagies are not the ones that you want working the street. Most of them are inside people, who are cowards and never put a set of handcuffs on anyone in their careers.

    1. Her code name is "Police Chief Kiss Curl".

  2. Time for a FOIA request.

    1. After a request for a double pastrami on rye. Side of slaw.
      Kenney, Outlaw, Krasner have their priorities.

  3. Fantastic, absorbing piece by Ralph Cipriano. THIS IS JOURNALISM. You won't find anything of the sort of this gem in the Philadelphia LGBInquirer, that pathetic, depraved, anti-American, anti-law and order piece of shit. Thank you, Ralph, for your fine journalistic diligence.

  4. Time for Delta Force to clean out the Crackhead vermin from houses taxpayers pay to remain as Crack houses. And they can clean out both the Mayorsame and our feckless DA's offices.

  5. All city leaders should be thrown in jail for theft for stealing city time/taxpayer money and official oppression. The city is an absolute dumpster fire, wrapped in a tornado, inside of an atomic bomb.

  6. Dying from drug overdose or killing each other is not the best technique for eradicating the :scourge."

    Bring back Willy "the wife beater" Goode and drop a bomb on the whole stinking block. That should be "their reparations."

  7. Meek Mill used to hang here.
    Now he's making Mike Rubin's Hampton Estate a violence den.


Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.