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Aide: Stabbed Philly councilman bears no ill will toward attacker

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 1, 2017 5:39 PM
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Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh. (Courtesy of Emma Lee/WHYY)


(Philadelphia) -- A city councilman stabbed during an attempted robbery near his home was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon and bears no ill will toward his attacker, a council aide said.

The attack occurred as Republican Councilman David Oh was getting out of his car late Wednesday night, police said.

A man approached Oh and started saying something that Oh could not understand, so the councilman started talking to him, police Lt. John Walker said. The man then pulled out a knife and told Oh to give him his keys before stabbing the councilman once in the left side of his body.

"It was just like (the man) was in attack mode," neighbor Elliott Williams, who saw part of the attack, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Williams said he shouted, "The cops are coming!" and the assailant fled.

Oh underwent surgery overnight, said Matt Pershe, a legislative aide, who added he remained in good spirits and had run his council office from his hospital bed.

Pershe said the attacker was a stranger to the councilman. Police continued looking for the assailant, and no arrests had been made.

The attack occurred on the block where Oh, who is married and has four children, has lived since the 1960s. Oh, first elected to the council in 2011, is the first Asian-American elected to public office in Philadelphia and the only U.S. military veteran serving on the council.

"He doesn't have any ill will toward the person who attacked him," Pershe said. "That's just the way he is."

Oh's late father founded Philadelphia's first Korean-American church in 1953.

According to Oh's council website , one of his cousins was murdered in 1958 by a group of teenagers while a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. Oh's parents requested leniency for the boys and started a fund to help them upon their release.

Police said they would be searching for surveillance video and interviewing potential witnesses. Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney urged anyone with information to come forward.

"We are all praying for Councilman Oh's quick recovery and thinking of his family during this incredibly difficult time," Kennedy said in a statement. "Whenever violence happens on our streets it is a terrible tragedy. When it happens near our homes, where we are supposed to feel safe, it is all the more devastating."

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Councilman David Oh: http://phlcouncil.com/DavidOh

An earlier story appears below.

(Philadelphia) -- A Philadelphia city councilman stabbed in an attempted robbery near his residence has been released from the hospital.

Republican Councilman David Oh was released Thursday afternoon. A legislative aide says Oh is in good spirits and had run his council office from his hospital bed.

Police continued searching for his assailant; no arrests have been made.

Police say Oh was stabbed once in the left side late Wednesday night by a would-be robber as he was getting out of his car.

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