PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are looking into a case of vandalism at a home that belongs to Hahnemann University Hospital owner Joel Freedman. Someone spraypainted the words “Joel Kills” and “Free Hahnemann” on the home near 21st and Locust Streets.
The graffiti comes after Philadelphia had been negotiating with Freedman to try to reopen the shuttered hospital during the coronavirus outbreak but they couldn’t reach an agreement on how much Freedman would charge the city.
On Saturday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney blasted Freedman in an interview with NPR after Temple University agreed to allow the city to use The Liacouras Center and other Temple facilities as hospital space.
“Makes me very emotional to think about how Temple just stepped up when we asked them for the first time,” Kenney said. “And we had to go back and forth and dicker around with a multi-millionaire owner who wanted to maximize his profits.”
Kenney says Hahnemann owners wanted the city to pay what equaled $1 million a month to use the facility.
A spokesperson for Freedman sent CBS3 the following statement Monday afternoon.
“This is a sad and uncalled for act of vandalism. Mr. Freedman responded quickly to the City of Philadelphia, offered to lease or sell the hospital at a nominal cost, and was rebuffed by the City. Vandalism or hate is never acceptable nor will it solve any problems, rather it is a time to come together and work collectively for the best of the community. That is what Mr. Freedman attempted to do and the city determined the site was not suitable for its needs. We still stand-ready to discuss should the city or state wish to resume discussions.”
Hahnemann closed over the summer due to bankruptcy.