Police: Deaf man was held captive for months for Social Security checks

A Southwest Philadelphia man has been charged with holding a 63-year-old deaf man hostage for months in a basement in a scheme to steal his Social Security checks.

Authorities arrested Dwayne Young, 56, on Monday after being tipped off that he was keeping William Richardson against his will at Young’s home on the 5500 block of Wheeler Street. Richardson, who cannot speak or hear, was found in a locked basement with a bed, chair and commode, police said.

According to reports, William Richardson went missing in April and his family reported it to police shortly thereafter. Police said he did not shows signs of any physical injuries, but was hungry.

The case is reminiscent of the Tacony dungeon case last year where Linda Ann Weston and two others are charged with keeping mentally disabled people captive, including Weston’s niece, in the boiler room of a Tacony home to steal their Social Security checks.

Young is charged with aggravated assaulted, kidnapping for ransom, theft, theft by deception and related offenses. He is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 18.

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