PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Three men were arrested and charged with murder in the fatal beating of a man who had been trying to hail a cab after leaving a bar just a few blocks from the Liberty Bell in the city's historic district, police said late Friday.
Investigators said the three suspects — Steven Ferguson, 20; Kenneth Santiago, 19; and Felix Carrillo, 23, all of Philadelphia — are charged in the killing of 23-year-old Kevin Kless last weekend.
Police say Kless had been yelling at a cab when three men got out of a car nearby and started kicking and punching him. Authorities say the men may have thought Kless was yelling at them, sparking the confrontation in which Kless fell to the sidewalk severely injured. He later died at a hospital.
The case had been cold for days as police searched for leads. Homicide Capt. James Clark said at a news conference late Friday that the break came after police got a tip, and that authorities are positive they have the men responsible. The men are in custody and it was not immediately known if they had obtained attorneys.
"It's just a senseless, tragic incident," Clark said at police headquarters. "We are 100 percent sure we have the right three individuals."
The attack took place near the historic Second Bank of the United States, not far from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, in an area that is home to many bars and restaurants that are popular hangouts for young adults.
Rewards totaling $20,000 were offered in the killing, which happened as Kless tried to stop a cab a few blocks from Lucy's Hat Shop, a bar that he and his friends had just left.
Kless, a May 2010 graduate of Temple University who had studied risk management, had recently returned to the city to work at an insurance firm after spending time working in Harrisburg. The youngest of three brothers, he grew up in Warwick, N.Y., and spent his whole life there before going to college in Philadelphia, according to his mother.
Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who commended detectives for the arrests, said Kless' family was told of the arrests.
"They will never truly have closure," Ross said.