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December 19, 2007
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Philly officer suspended over allegations of home invasion

By Christine Olley
Philadelphia Daily News

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — A Philadelphia police officer charged in connection with an alleged home invasion in Pottstown has been suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss, police said yesterday.

"We will not be saying anything further about Officer [Malik] Snell," said Chief Inspector William Colarulo of Internal Affairs, referring further questions to the Pottstown Police Department.

Snell, a police officer since 1996 most recently assigned to the 18th District at 55th and Pine streets in West Philadelphia, is alleged to have driven the vehicle that fled after the home invasion, taking Pottstown Police on a high-speed chase before surrendering.

Yesterday, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office released new details regarding the arrest of Snell and his brother-in-law, Tyree Aimes. A third suspect, Stephon Gibson, is still at large, First Assistant District Attorney Risa Ferman said.

Ferman said yesterday that Snell was a conspirator in the home-invasion robbery late Sunday night in an apartment on South Roland Street in Potts-town.

"My understanding of this case so far is that Mr. Aimes and Mr. Gibson were looking to commit this attack of someone that they believe had stolen money from a drug dealer that they knew," Ferman said.

"Mr. Snell drove the getaway car," Ferman added. "However, the victims of the attack were not the intended targets."

According to the affidavit of probable cause, after Aimes and Gibson barged into the apartment they believed was occupied by the people who owed the drug money, they roughed up an unsuspecting couple, then left. Snell drove his white Dodge Durango with Aimes in the passenger seat and led Pottstown police on an intense chase along Route 422 in Berks County.

Gibson was left behind.

Once Snell crashed his car along Route 422 near Gibraltar Road, he and Aimes fled on foot.

Snell was found hiding in a shed behind a house in Berks County. A couple of houses away from where Snell was apprehended, Aimes was found hiding in a large, wooden storage box, the affidavit said.

Snell ignored a police officer's commands to display his hands and get down on the ground so the officer released a police dog, which bit Snell, according to the affidavit.

When cops searched Snell's SUV, they found a loaded, semi-automatic Colt .380-caliber handgun, the affidavit said.

When Snell was questioned by police, the affidavit said, he originally told them he had been the victim of a carjacking at gunpoint at a gas station at Island and Woodland avenues in Southwest Philadelphia and had been forced at gunpoint to ride with the people who had carjacked him.

Later, after he was re-interviewed by detectives, Snell admitted that he had lied to police, the affidavit said.

Snell and Aimes are being held on charges of robbery, burglary, criminal conspiracy, assault, and related offenses. Each was held on $500,000 bail.

Copyright 2007 The Philadelphia Daily News

Full story: Philly officer suspended over allegations of home invasion






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