Philadelphia Teen Alleges Severe Abuse During Police Pat-Down

The 16-year-old straight-A student underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured testicle after the incident on Jan. 7.

Darrin Manning
Darrin Manning Fox 29

Darrin Manning and his high school basketball teammates were dressed for the cold when they hopped off the subway on Jan. 7, wearing hats, gloves and scarves given to them by a teacher, the Raw Story reports.

But the 16-year-old student at Mathematics, Civics & Sciences Charter School in Philadelphia found himself in a quandary when one of his classmates may have smarted off to an officer who was staring them down, according to the article, which cites the Philadelphia Inquirer. Things became complicated when the boys ran as the officer began approaching, sparking a chain of events that left Manning with a ruptured testicle and misdemeanor charges. He says he did nothing wrong.

But police records show that Manning, who is black, fought with Officer Thomas Purcell, who is white, after he stopped running, striking the officer three times and ripping off his police radio, the Raw Story says. Police say the boys were wearing ski masks, not scarves.

Manning, however, said he was roughed up, hit with handcuffs before being handcuffed and then, he said, a female officer pulled his genitals so hard during a patdown that one of his testicles ruptured, the report says.

“She patted me down and then she touched my butt and then my private parts, and then she grabbed and squeezed and pulled my private parts and I felt something pop,” Manning said, according to the Raw Story.

Police said the teen didn’t complain of any pain while in custody, and authorities charged him with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment.

Manning had emergency surgery the following day, and his mother told the Philadelphia Inquirer that doctors told her he may never be able to father children. The student used a wheelchair at school a few days after the incident.

His mother, Ikea Coney, said witnesses support her son’s account, and at least one witness told the Inquirer that she thought police officers were being aggressive, the report says.

“I blame myself,” Coney said, the report says. “I taught my son to respect cops, not to fear them. Maybe if he was afraid, he would have run like the other boys and he would have been OK.”