Police: 3 teens attack woman at KOP Mall, crash her car into bus; 2 charged as adults

Jim Melwert
September 04, 2019 - 10:54 am
Stolen SUV slams into bus

Jim Melwert/KYW Newsradio


UPDATED: 3:50 p.m.

WEST PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A woman was beaten up late Tuesday night at the King of Prussia Mall, police say, and her teen attackers took her car on a short-lived joyride before slamming into a bus.

Now, they're being charged as adults.

The woman, who is in her 20s, had just ended work at a store in the mall around 9:30 p.m. When she got to her car in a parking deck, police say three teens — two girls, ages 14 and 17, and a 17-year-old boy — walked up to her and asked to use her phone.

She handed it to him and he made a quick call. Then, he passed the phone to one of the girls, according to Upper Merion Police Chief Tom Nolan.

"(The boy) put her into a pretty strong chokehold," he said, "to the point where she felt she was going to black out. She was then punched by one of the females, then violently thrown to the ground."

The three teens stole her 2005 Toyota Highlander. Upper Merion and Pennsylvania State police tracked the SUV on the Schuylkill Expressway near Gulph Mills, and they were led in a brief chase.

Nolan said a supervisor monitored the pursuit and speeds on the highway were moderate. After police tried to spin the SUV, it sped off. But it then slammed into a SEPTA bus about five blocks away, around 10:30 p.m. at 37th and Spring Garden streets.

The bus driver and six passengers were injured. The three teens in the SUV were also injured, one of them critically.

The 17-year-olds — later identified as Ellijah Simmons from Greys Ferry and Nyshay Hanton from Frankford — both required surgery.

They are both being charged as adults, each facing more than a half-dozen felonies, including aggravated assault and robbery.

They remain hospitalized but will eventually be transferred to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.

The 14-year-old girl is being charged with similar crimes as a juvenile.

Simmons' bail is set at $250,000. Hanton's bail is set at $50,000.