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When Ronald Spencer raced out of his house Monday afternoon, the 18-year-old hoped to make it to his favorite barbershop before it hung up the "Sorry, Closed" sign.
However, in what began as an innocent trip to the barber, Spencer claims, ended with a vicious beating at the hands of Philadelphia Police officers - a one-sided pummeling that found him face down on the scorching hood of a police cruiser and repeatedly struck as terrified witnesses watched in horror.
"All I could think about was my life," said the soft-spoken hardware store worker, his left arm crammed into a sling due to the alleged beating.
"I didn't know if they were going to kill me. All I thought was, "Who knows what they want to do to me?"
Spencer says the three-inch burn mark on the right side of his forehead and his sprained shoulder now serve as reminders of what they indeed had in store for him.
Police Department officials said Wednesday that if any wrongdoing took place, it would be dealt with appropriately.
According to Spencer, the traumatic episode began around 4 p.m. when he left his Northeast Philadelphia home en route to a popular barbershop on Frankford Avenue.
Officials from the 15th District declined to comment about the alleged Spencer beating or on this article in general. They deferred all questions to Philadelphia Police Department's Office of Public Affairs.
Police Department spokesperson officer Carmen Torres said the allegations need to be closely examined for actual merit.
"[It appears] we need to investigate," Torres said. "We do need to look into it."
Torres said that proper procedure calls for Spencer to file a formal complaint against the police officers with the department's Internal Affairs.
However, Spencer's mother, Deborah Adams, said the family has hired an attorney and plans on pursuing action against the officers in court.