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Berks coroner: Homeless man died of beating injuries; death a homicide

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 02 2014 02:26:49 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 03 2014 06:35:42 AM CDT

The Berks County coroner has ruled the death of a homeless man a homicide, saying he died as a result of being beaten inside a laundromat.

READING, Pa. -

The Berks County coroner has ruled the death of a homeless man a homicide, saying he died as a result of being beaten inside a laundromat earlier this year.

Robert Mohler suffered severe head injuries as a result of the brutal attack as he slept inside the Penn Street Laundromat in the 900 block of Penn Street in downtown Reading on Jan. 12, Dennis Hess, the Berks County coroner, told 69 News on Wednesday.

The cruel crime was caught on surveillance cameras. Mohler, 49, received permission from the owner of the laundromat to sleep inside, out of the extreme cold.

"He was a beautiful man and he had a beautiful heart," said Stacie Saylor, who vowed she would never forget her friend.   

Mohler was better known as "Back-door Bobby" to his friends, and he was a familiar face around the area. Saylor said there was no excuse for the attack, and now she's happy the suspects involved may face a harsher penalty.

"They need to go to jail and they need to pay for what they did to that man. He did not deserve that," said Saylor.

According to police, Floyd Patterson, Irich Colon, Ana Ferrer-Reyes and Keith Allison beat Mohler repeatedly with a laundry cart and cone for no reason at all.

Mohler was found dead Feb. 5 inside an industrial building in the 1200 block of Spruce Street, officials said..

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"He did not deserve that he was a very nice older man he was a sweetheart," said Saylor. 

The district attorney's office filed a motion to increase bail for the suspects once Mohler passed away. Now, the DA said he expects to amend the charges for at least some of the suspects in the near future now that Mohler's death has officially been attributed to the beating.

Mohler's death is Reading's first homicide of 2014.