Alon Davis-Cerdan, 21, of West Sharpnack Street, Philadelphia, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Thursday to 11 ½ to 23 months in the county jail, to be followed by three years’ probation, after he pleaded guilty to charges of retaliation against a witness, simple assault and terroristic threats in connection with the 12:30 p.m. Aug. 31, 2011, incident at the Willow Grove Park Mall in Abington. Authorities alleged Davis-Cerdan armed himself with a metal putty knife and chased another man who had previously been a witness against Davis-Cerdan during a Philadelphia court proceeding. Davis-Cerdan was on probation in Philadelphia stemming from the prior incident, testimony revealed.
During the chase through the mall, Davis-Cerdan “attempted to jump over a small child” and kicked the 7-year-old child in the head, “knocking him to the ground,” according to the arrest affidavit filed by Abington Police Officer Donald Lindenmuth. The child, police said, was transported to Abington Hospital for treatment of a minor contusion.
The simple assault charge to which Davis-Cerdan pleaded guilty, related to his contact with the child. While chasing the other man, Davis-Cerdan allegedly was yelling that he was going to kill the other man, according to the criminal complaint, which referred to witnesses’ observations.
“He’s certainly remorseful over what happened,” defense lawyer Francis Genovese said on Davis-Cerdan’s behalf. “They happened to run into each other at the Willow Grove Mall and some words were exchanged.”
Genovese implied Davis-Cerdan felt threatened by the other man during the heated argument.
“Which caused my client to pick up the putty knife off of a janitor’s cart that was in the mall. Then a chase through the mall ensued with further words being exchanged,” Genovese claimed. “Unfortunately, in the course of that chase, my client tried to hurdle a young child who I think was in a stroller and who got knocked to the ground.”
Mall security eventually quelled the situation, according to Genovese.