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Father Charged In 2yo's Gunshot Death; Montco Warns About Hospitals; Skateboard Mentor Arrested
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 12/03/20 11:38 pm | updated: 12/03/20 11:38 pm
A father in Bucks County has been arrested after his 2-year-old died of an apparent gun shot wound to the head on Wednesday night, 12/2. 27-year-old Jorddan Thornton has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child in the death of Julius Thornton. It happened just before 9 p.m. at the Racquet Club Apartments and Townhomes on Veterans Highway in Middletown Township. Authorities responded to the scene for a report of a boy who had fallen and cracked his skull. They arrived to find Thorton outside holding his son with what looked like a gun shot wound. He told officers that his son was jumping on the bed and fell and hit his head. Julius was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead. An autopsy confirmed that the boy died from a gunshot to the head. Thorton told police that there were guns in the home but they were all put away in drawers. He was the sole caretaker at the time of the incident. "I'm hopeful that through our investigation we'll learn what happened in that apartment. But there's an equal chance we may never be able to learn that because of a lack of witnesses," Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said. Thorton is being held in Bucks County jail on $500,000 bond. Julius would have turned 3 on Christmas Eve.

Officials in Montgomery County are warning that hospitals in the county are "near capacity." That comes as the Pennsylvania Health Secretary also warns that hospital capacity around the state is dwindling. Just under 5,000 people are hospitalized for coronavirus in Pennsylvania and 1,000 are in intensive care. "We have seen that a number of counties in Pennsylvania have only a few intensive care unit beds left or actually no intensive care beds left in their county," Dr. Levine said on Thursday, 12/3. "Most hospitals in Montgomery County are at or near capacity. The majority have had to divert patients from their emergency rooms during the last several days for some period of time and some are beginning to cancel scheduled surgeries in order to create more staff beds for COVID-19 patients," said Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Montgomery County has 362 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, which is up from 270 last Tuesday.

Arkoosh stated that the Board of Health order mandating all Montgomery County schools to operate virtually between November 23 and December 5 will expire this Sunday. Individual schools and districts can choose to continue to operate virtually if they wish starting Monday, December 6, or return to in-person or hybrid scheduling.

The founder of a Philadelphia skateboarding club has been accused of sexually assaulting two children. 52-year-old Rodney Watkins, founder of the "Powerfulnailya" skateboarding club, is charged with rape and sexual assault of children. The victims first met Watkins when they were 11- and 12-years-old in 2011 and 2012. They would meet him at area skate parks including POPS Skatepark at Trenton and Hazzard streets, Whitehall Skatepark at Torresdale Avenue and Wakeling Street, and Paine's Park near the Art Museum. The assaults took place at sleepovers at Watkins' home or during road trips with the team. If you have any information or feel you may have been victimized yourself, contact the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251.

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