On the day of the Super Bowl, prior to the start of the game, a block party of Temple students swarmed Arlington Street in North Philadelphia, smashing, jumping on, and flipping cars. After the vandalism, Temple students and residents of the neighborhood have taken initiative to support the victims of the damage.
On February 14th, video footage was released of Temple students jumping on cars, one car belonging to 70-year-old, handicapped Temple alumni and veteran, Richard Pierce. “They tore off my door handles. They tore off my mirrors. They bashed my windshield,” said Pierce in an interview with CBS Philadelphia.
Police reports have been filed, two men have been charged for flipping a car near the University’s campus, but Pierce has said that his main focus is now finding a way to get around for groceries and to doctor’s appointments.
Temple students and Philadelphia residents took to social media to speak out against the damage. The Temple student-run instagram page @keep_us_safe_tu, started in November of 2022 to hold Temple accountable and support Temple students who are victims of violent crimes, posted the videos of the mob.
Many people responded in the comment section of the video calling for the Temple students to be arrested. Students and Philadelphia residents are outraged, especially because many of these Temple students are not from Philadelphia and have no problem destroying a neighborhood that is not their own. Temple students also acknowledge that the mobbing gives the innocent students a bad representation. In an interview with KYW Radio Philadelphia, a senior at Temple University, Matthew Giovanni, who started a GoFundMe for Pierce went on to say, “We are just guests, we live here halfway through the year. We have to respect the community. I want everybody to know that is not the Temple way.”
Residents of the neighborhood, including Temple students living on Arlington Street, have shown support for Pierce and others whose cars were destroyed during the party. A Go-Fund-Me was started to raise money for Pierce for the vandalism on his car and others. The fund started with a goal of 4k but has now reached 16k in donations.
Richard Pierce GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/myk84-rick