Three suspects in Philly hate crime tracked down by Twitter detectives surrender to police


Three people suspected in a Philadelphia hate crime tracked down last week by Twitter detectives have turned themselves in, according to police.

Phillip Williams and Katherine Knott, both 24-years-old and from suburban Bucks County, surrendered early Wednesday morning to police. Kevin Hannigan, 26, surrendered Wednesday afternoon, according to WPVI.

The trio are the only members of a large group originally expected to answer to criminal charges for the September 11 Center City beating of a gay couple.

About a dozen people were shown in surveillance footage released last week by Philadelphia Police in an attempt to have the public help track them down.

It is not clear why the other members of the group will not face charges, by authorities told WPVI the reason would be explained in court.

All three were each charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and criminal conspiracy but will not face hate crime charges because of a flaw in state laws.

Their attorneys worked out an agreement that allowed them to turn themselves in without being arrested, sources told WPVI.

This revelation led gay right supporters to march Tuesday on the state capital Harrisburg for legislation to make such an assault a hate crime, according to the station. This designation would result in much stiffer penalties.

The victims suffered serious facial injuries during the attack, cops said. They claim they were targeted for being gay.

"This vicious attack shocked the entire country. An assault on people because of their sexual orientation has no place in Philadelphia," District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement.

It is not clear when the trio is due in court.