Terrell Carter

Terrell Carter

MEDIA COURTHOUSE — A homeless man arrested last year for stealing more than $200 from the Darby Free Library before hitting a librarian in the face pleaded guilty Tuesday to robbery while inflicting bodily injury, a second-degree felony.

Terrell Carter, 40, who has no known address but frequented the library and even had a library card on file, is scheduled to be sentenced this morning before Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Mary Alice Brennan. Assistant District Attorney Katie Magee said the recommended sentence would be two to five years and she would provide an exact restitution amount at that time.

Carter, represented by defense attorney Stephen Patrizio, was arrested last year in Philadelphia following an intense manhunt.

The robbery occurred about 10 a.m. July 11, 2018. The librarian told officers she was walking up a flight of steps at the Main Street library when she saw a man running down the steps.

“The male put his hand in her face and pushed her back down the flight of steps causing her to land at the front door,” according to an affidavit of probable cause for Carter’s arrest written by borough Patrolman Joseph C. O’Donnell III.

The librarian told police she believed he had pushed her to prevent anyone from chasing him.

Video surveillance footage showed Carter and the victim meeting in the middle of the stairwell, according to the affidavit. As Carter walked past, the video shows the librarian attempt to stop him. Carter then pushed the librarian down the steps and footage shows her landing back at the front door.

“While (the victim) is still on the ground, you can see that she continues to try and stop the male from exiting the business which causes her to end up outside on the front steps,” the affidavit states, describing the video. “The male was able to get around (the victim) and exit the business.”

Another witness saw a man running from the library with a water jug headed for the trolley loop. As he passed by the witness, he was placing the jug — used by the library as a tip jar — in a green trash bag, according to the affidavit.

The victim, who suffered two broken bones in her back and spent two weeks in the hospital, was able to identify Carter from a photo array. But identifying Carter, who frequented the library, was not as much of a problem as finding him. With no fixed address, investigators had to rely on tips from the public about possible locations he would frequent.

Those tips finally led to Carter’s capture July 31 at the corner of Broad and Lehigh streets in Philadelphia, where law enforcement including borough detectives, SEPTA police and investigators from multiple Philadelphia detective precincts had been watching for him.

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