Friday, June 7, 2013

Contractor and Excavator Operator Connected To Building Collapse In Philadelphia Have Criminal Records Involving Drugs, Theft, Firearms, Assault, And Fraud, Philadelphia Inquirer Reports

Mike Newall and Mark Faziollah at the Philadelphia Inquirer report on the contractor and excavator operator's criminal past.

The 42-year-old Hunting Park man who was operating the excavator during Wednesday's building collapse in Center City has been arrested 10 times on charges including drugs, theft, firearms, and assault, court records show.

Sean Benschop, who was treated and released for minor injuries, has also been convicted 16 times in Traffic Court since 2006, most for driving without a license or insurance and for operating unregistered vehicles, records show.

Benschop, who according to court records also uses the name Kary Roberts, was demolishing the four-story building next to the Salvation Army thrift store at 22d and Market Streets when the remaining structure collapsed, killing six people.

A law enforcement source said Benschop had used the excavator to remove a second-story beam just seconds before the building toppled onto the shop.

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