The Blind Leading the Blind: The Trial of Tomayo McDuffy

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The Blind Leading the Blind: The Trial of Tomayo McDuffy

ACTv PHL™, Black in the Day™
August 12, 2013
By Flood the Drummer



The Blind Leading the Blind: The Trial of Tomayo McDuffy

He Wasn’t Killed By Neighborhood Watch, But He’s Being Crucified as Neighborhoods Watch.


Activists gather in front of the criminal justice center in Philadelphia to participate in a 100 city rally to demand justice for Travyon Martin. The nationwide direct action was organized by Rev Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. (Photo Credit: C. Norris -©2013)

Activists gather in front of the criminal justice center in Philadelphia to participate in a 100 city rally to demand justice for Trayvon Martin. The nationwide direct action was organized by Rev Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. (Photo Credit: C. Norris -©2013)

By Christopher “Flood the Drummer”® Norris


8.12.13: Philadelphia– (Crime/Politics): It’s 3am, Friday May 3rd on the 4700 block of Marple Street in the Holmesburg section of the city. A fifty-four (54) year-old mentally-ill blind widow named Maria Colon – who, in addition to making more than fifteen (15) 9-1-1 phone calls in the last four months, has been previously involuntarily committed for mental care by her family with claims that she’s depressed and refuses to take prescribed psychiatric drugs – tells police she was awaken by the barking of her seeing-eye dog Yolanda, who was chasing burglars out of her three-story rowhome after thieves allegedly turned on the gas stove without lighting the pilot, attempting to fill the house with natural gas.

READ: Eight Days from Trial, Philly’s District Attorney ask “Who’s Tomayo McDuffy?”

READ: Local Basketball Player to host Vigil, Tribute for Tomayo McDuffy

Colon’s yellow Labrador retriever, after chasing off the burglars, then dialed 9-11 and apparently either turned the gas off herself, led Colon down the steps to turn it off, or waited the “hours” says it took for police to respond for them to do it – those fact haven’t been made quite clear.

READ: Seven Days from Trial, Tomayo McDuffy Prays for his Persecutor

What is clear, at least to police conducting the investigation, is that the person responsible for this “crime” – which includes eleven charges including attempted murder – was none other than the victim’s next door neighbor, eighteen (18) year-old Tomayo McDuffy.

With no eye-witnesses, except of course the BLIND woman who’s making the claim, our beloved men in blue from the 15th district swiftly arrested McDuffy – without any physical evidence, not even fingerprints – and charged him with attempted murder, criminal trespassing and cruelty to animals; if convicted McDuffy could spend up to eighty (80) years in prison.

READ: Seizing His Dream, Activists in Philly to March for Justice

McDuffy is being held at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on a reduced bail of $100,000.

Activist Asa Khalif supports the Justice for Tomayo Movement. (Photo Credit: C. Norris - ©2013)

Activist Asa Khalif supports the Justice for Tomayo Movement. (Photo Credit: C. Norris – ©2013)

 “She hears several male voices in the house; the guide dog chases the males from house. She smells a strong odor of natural gas; hear the offenders put the gas range on without the flame; the house filled up with natural gas,” explains Captain Francis Bachmayer, in a statement to 6abc Action News.

The victim’s neighbor and close friend, who did not want to be identified, says this isn’t the first time the suspects bothered her. “They tried to break in two times before, they tried to poison her dog,” reports.

According to an affidavit, detectives zeroed in on McDuffy because Colon told them she heard two male voices and recognized one as McDuffy’s. Authorities had investigated two prior incidents in which Colon accused McDuffy and his family of trying to poison her dog and verbally harassing her, no charges were ever filed.

I spoke with two activists who have become involved with McDuffy’s case and are making it their mission to not only prove his innocence, but to show a pattern of racist and “demonic” behavior by Philadelphia’s elected officials.

Greg Brinkley, former President of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Action Network and Asa Khalif, President of Racial Unity, sat down with me to discuss the new evidence they’ve found and the work they’re doing to clear McDuffy’s name.

I personally had a few questions I wanted answered, like: “If Colon is her next door neighbor – and “tried to break in twice before” – why would he have been surprised by the dog? Wouldn’t he have been prepared to silence the canine? Why would he want to blow up a house attached to his own?

“That’s the million dollar question that should have the raised eyebrows of everyone investigating this case,” says Brinkley, who works full time as a correctional officer at Graterford Prison. “He lives directly next door; if he blows up her house he would blow his up too!”

Reporters who’ve written about the case have yet to find anyone else on Marple Street who thinks police nabbed the right guy – or even that a crime happened.

“With all of the new evidence we’ve discovered and the lack of evidence gathered by police, it’s clear to me that the city of Philadelphia is in a world of trouble. They’ve arrested McDuffy and violated his civil rights, thus opening themselves up for a lawsuit,” says Khalif, an outspoken activist who appeared recently on the front cover of the Philadelphia Daily News after leading a 5 mile march following the Trayvon Martin Brotherly Love Vigil, held in LOVE Park the day after Zimmerman was found not guilty.


(Photo Credit: C. Norris - ©2013)

(Photo Credit: C. Norris – ©2013)


In what seems like a moment from the twilight zone, one mirroring the whole Trayvon Martin incident in fact, police ignored all the signs of a crazed would-be psychopath and failed to give Colon a mental health evaluation. To make matter worst, even after McDuffy was arrested, Colon called police again with another incident; this time claiming someone poured flammable liquid in her front yard.

Dana Difilippo writers on


The Marple Street drama sounds exhaustingly familiar to Colon’s ex-boyfriend Richard Vargas and Colon’s four estranged children. Vargas dated Colon off and on for maybe a decade. Her habit of accusing others of wrongdoing led to their breakup, he said, when she baselessly accused him of raping her and stealing the insurance money she received after a house fire.

On Marple Street, police responded to sixteen (16)  9-1-1 calls from or about Colon’s home in the past four months, and an additional twenty-three (23) in a year from or about her Torresdale Avenue home, police records show.

Vargas said he wouldn’t defend Colon’s character, stating:

“Crime victim? She’s a crybaby, that’s what she is. I love her to death, but I will not speak up for her lies.”


“They’re manufacturing a story! I believe this woman had police so frustrated that they just locked away the poor eighteen year-old to shut her up. I strongly believe the racist cops in the 15th district would do this. McDuffy’s family has lived there eight (8) years; four different families have lived there in that time span and there were never any complaints. Colon moves on the block and in less than four months McDuffy is facing up to 80 years,” says Brinkley.


Brinkley and Khalif both think the Negro leaders in Philadelphia are not only racist, but pure evil for allowing the District Attorney to proceed with this case without demanding a thorough investigation – including a mental health and lie detector test for Colon.


“The leadership in this city could care less about poor black and brown people, period! I honestly don’t know how they sleep at night, especially Seth Williams, who is worst than Lynn Abraham,” exclaims Khalif.


“The job of a District Attorney is not only to prosecute the guilty but to protect the innocent. Seth Williams, however, will lock you up, and then make you prove your way out of it! He takes a picture in a Hoodie and acts like he’s down, but he’s not prosecuting the cops that are beating our black kids in the streets every day, unjustly! Seth Williams has the power to put an end to this nightmare if there’s ANY reasonable doubt, well there’s plenty! He’s neglecting his duty to protect the innocent and well as prosecute the guilty,” explains Brinkley.

READ: A Mother’s Cry turns into a March for Justice

Brinkley claims they have dug up major evidence, including proof that Colon can see and will be presenting it at Tomayo’s trial, which begins September 11th. Brinkley says he has video proof that she can see, “her driver’s license expired March of this month,” he says. The social justice activist of more than twenty years also says he has pictures that dispel the idea that the door was kicked off the hinges.


(Photo Credit: C. Norris - ©2013)

(Photo Credit: C. Norris – ©2013)

Brinkley stated that although original reports say it was two burglars, police have stopped looking for the second person.


“Philadelphia is a perfect example that moving black and brown people up the economic ladder doesn’t mean black and brown people at the bottom of the economic ladder will be empowered. There are blackfaces in leadership all across the city but we’re worst off than ever. It seems as if they were put in place to keep us down, and because they’re black we can’t claim racism; but there employing the same tactics. Our leaders have shown us that we need to be our own Calvary and we need to save our own children,” says Brinkley.



Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™

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4700-4714 Marple Street, Philadelphia PA 19136 Holmesburg

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