Police captain ‘elated’ to have suspect in custody for brutal face-slashing robbery in South Philadelphia

Investigators today announced the arrest of a 30-year-old man accused of slashing 23-year-old Ashley Hackett’s face in November during a brutal robbery outside her South Philadelphia home.

“Our man is in custody,” Capt. Laurence Nodiff of South Detectives said. “This predator is off the streets.”

Police said 30-year-old Cory Harley of the 600 block of South Street is charged with aggravated assault, robbery, theft and possession of an instrument of crime. He is currently being held on $500,000 bail.

A tip led police to take Harley into custody yesterday, according to Nodiff. The man then allegedly led investigators to clothes that were worn during the assault and to the knife used to slash Hackett’s face, requiring 100 stitches and leaving the woman with a lifelong scar.

“It’s a very sharp knife that was recovered from a sewer inlet in South Philadelphia,” Nodiff said, likening the blade to a surgical tool. He said that, based on the weapon, “I believe that [Harley] went there with the intent of causing serious bodily injury and possibly attempting to take Ashley’s life.”

Nodiff said the victim is no stranger to police and investigators are attempting to see whether he may be connected to additional crimes.

But for now, they’re just glad he’s in custody. “I absolutely believe that not only the residents of South Philly, but Ashley, her family – all of us law abiding citizens – will sleep better tonight as a result of him being behind bars,” he said.

Hackett thanked police for apprehending her alleged attacker and said she’s come to terms with the seemingly random act of violence.

“It’s hard to believe that evil exists in this world when you have so much trust and faith that you’re in a good spot, you have a good head on your shoulders, you’ve made all the right decisions throughout your life,” she said. “Bad things happen to good people, too – that’s the way our world works.”

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