Neighbors: Midtown killing not first attack like it recently

Steven Esworthy - Courtesy of Harrisburg Bureau of Police

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Harrisburg man walking home from a wedding was beaten to death overnight, police said Sunday.

Neighbors in the Midtown neighborhood say it’s not the first attack like this.

This part of the city, on Green Street near Verbeke Street, just feels safe to Nathaniel Foote. The attack is surprising.

“Because it happened so close to home, physically within feet of where we live, it concerns you,” Foote said.

Police say 32-year-old Steven Esworthy was walking home alone from a family member’s wedding around 1:30 Sunday morning.

A man hit him over the head with something then rifled through his pockets before running off.

“It’s upsetting, obviously,” said Hillary Greene, who lives nearby. “I am from the neighborhood; I feel very comfortable in this neighborhood.”

One neighbor ABC27 News spoke with didn’t want to talk on camera but said he saw Esworthy walking. The neighbor was watching from across the street and said he saw Esworthy stumble into a fence at the corner of Green and Charles streets before walking toward Verbeke Street.

That’s when he noticed a man walking behind him with a piece of wood in his hands, but the neighbor didn’t really think too much of it at the time.

He took his dog around the block for a walk and when he came back just a couple minutes later, he saw Esworthy up the block, lying on the ground bleeding, the other man looking through his pockets.

Paramedics declared Esworthy dead on the sidewalk.

Two days ago, another apparent attack happened nearby, similar to this one.

Phil Narsh says he was headed down Third Street early in the morning on June 17, just three blocks from Sunday’s attack.

“After that,” he said, “the next thing I remember was being put into an ambulance and was told that I was attacked.”

His arm is now immobilized and he has a big knot on his forehead. He said it was the size of a grapefruit the next day. His phone, keys, and some money were missing, too.

Narsh said he didn’t file a police report at the time, as he was being taken to the hospital, and he’s already been able to replace his phone. He doesn’t want his experience to scare people away from the city.

“I know that I’m, like, a victim of it, but I hesitate to say like downtown is scary,” he said. “It doesn’t seem scary to me. I live here.”

A number of people in the area said that about the attack. It’s a shock, but they’re not worried.

“I always encourage people to move to Midtown,” Foote said. “And I hope that people don’t see this and think otherwise.”

Police were still searching for a suspect Sunday night. He’s described as a black man in his 20s, wearing jeans and a white tank top possibly draped around his neck.

Anyone with information or security cameras in the area is asked to call police. Dauphin County Crime Stoppers is offering up to $2,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

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