Homeless man arrested for machete attack near Bala Cynwyd trail

Tim Jimenez
August 22, 2019 - 10:20 am
Cynwyd Heritage Trail

Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio

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BALA CYNWYD, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Typically, a morning walk down the Cynwyd Heritage Trail is a quiet one for Bobbie Epstein. But it wasn't on Tuesday.

"As we were walking, we saw the police. There were six police cars coming in," she said.

She saw clothes, garbage, other debris on the ground. She didn’t know what was going on, but learned after the fact that Lower Merion police were investigating a machete attack near the trail.

After releasing his picture and searching for him, authorities quickly arrested the attacker on Tuesday, so people who frequent the Main Line trail can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Police said 25-year-old Romeo Gagliardi used a machete during a fight with another man around 4:30 Tuesday morning. Both, police say, are homeless.

Gagliardi, who police say resides by the Schuylkill River, ran off, and the victim was treated at Lankenau Medical Center for several cuts.

“There seem to be more and more people — homeless people — who are down by the river and camp a lot of times," Epstein added Thursday morning on the trail. "It’s very sad, but it’s also very scary.”

Gagliardi is now facing several charges, including aggravated assault and terroristic threats.