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May 28, 2024

U.S. Marshals arrest fourth suspect in assault of off-duty Philly officer

Arthur Jones, 38, was taken into custody at a hotel near the airport. Three others have been charged in the May 12 incident.

Investigations Assaults
Police Officer Assault Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Arthur Jones, 38, was arrested Tuesday morning in connection with the assault of an off-duty Philadelphia police officer on May 12.

U.S. Marshals have taken a fourth person into custody for his alleged role in the assault of an off-duty Philadelphia police officer who was beaten by a crowd and robbed of his gun earlier this month, authorities said.

Arthur Jones, 38, was arrested Tuesday morning at a hotel near the airport in Southwest Philadelphia. A warrant had been issued for Jones on May 14, two days after off-duty officer Eric Rodriguez was attacked on the 2100 block of Oxford Avenue in North Philly.

Rodriguez was driving home from his shift that morning and honked his car horn while stuck in traffic, police said. Soon after, 23-year-old Cian Dennis allegedly punched Rodriguez in the face while he was still in the car.

When Rodriguez got out of his car and identified himself as a police officer, investigators say Dennis drew a weapon and a struggle ensued with Rodriguez. During the fight, 24-year-old Yusef Coleman, also armed, allegedly put Rodriguez in a headlock. Rodriguez struggled to wrestle away Coleman's gun, causing an extended magazine to fall out of the weapon, police said. Rodriquez fired the remaining round from the gun, but no one was struck, investigators said.

Dennis allegedly pointed his gun at Rodriguez and told him to drop the weapon. Then a crowd of people attacked Rodriguez and stole his personal gun, police said.

An officer who was on duty eventually arrived and broke up the crowd, and as Coleman was leaving the scene in his black BMW, he allegedly struck Rodriguez in the leg with his car. Rodriguez suffered a black eye, bruises to his face and a leg injury.

Police were able to use body-worn camera footage and nearby surveillance video to identify Coleman and take him into custody later that day. Dennis was arrested May 14 and a third suspect, 24-year-old Khamil Brown, was arrested the next day. Police identified Jones as the fourth suspect at that time but have not revealed his alleged role in the beating and robbery. He's expected to face charges of aggravated assault and robbery. U.S. Marshals said dozens of tips from the public helped investigators find him. A $5,000 reward had been offered for information leading to Jones' arrest. 

Investigators have not said whether additional people will face charges in the incident.

Rodriguez is a nine-year veteran of the police department assigned to the 22nd District in North Philly. He has been placed on administrative duty pending an investigation into the incident.

Coleman has been charged with conspiracy, aggravated assault, assault of a law enforcement officer, robbery, weapons offenses and other crimes. Dennis is charged with conspiracy, aggravated assault, robbery and related offenses. Brown also is charged with conspiracy, aggravated assault, robbery, weapons violations and related offenses.