Archive for category allentown police department

Different outcomes for 2 men accused of bloody fight with knives

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The co-defendants refused to testify at their preliminary hearing, invoking their Fifth Amendment rights to avoid self incrimination.

There were different outcomes Monday for two men accused of a bloody fight involving a knife this past May in Allentown.

Allentown police carTwo men accused of a bloody fight with knives has different outcomes at their preliminary hearings. (lehighvalleylive.com file photo)

Michael Gennaro Perone III, 36, of the 1100 block of Turner Street; and Lawrence Craig Frushon, 32, of the 500 block of North 18th Street, both of Allentown, were each charged with two counts of aggravated assault, and single counts of simple assault and reckless endangerment following the May 23 fight in the 1700 block of Liberty Street.

Perone first refused to testify during the pair’s preliminary hearings Monday afternoon, citing his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self incrimination. But eventually Perone reached a plea deal with prosecutors: he pleaded guilty to simple assault with the stipulation it was a mutual altercation and there was no indication he had a knife or weapon.

Perone was sentenced to one year of probation. He has been in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail in the case.


RELATED: Pair facing assault charges following stabbing, police say

Frushon also refused to testify, but went ahead with his hearing. Frushon’s charges were sent to Lehigh County Court, where he now faces trial.

Frushon is free on $100,000 bail.

A city police officer who was outside the Maingate nightclub the night of the incident said a cab driver yelled out to him that someone was in trouble on Liberty Street.

Officer Dennis Clemens said he saw a woman on the ground of a parking lot, and a man, later identified as Frushon, standing over her. As Clemens got closer, he said Frushon jumped into an SUV and told the officer he was stabbed and had to get to the hospital.

“I saw a lot of blood,” Clemens said.

Frushon walked into the emergency room at Lehigh Valley Hospital at 17th and Chew streets, court records filed by police say. Perone returned to his home on Turner Street and called police to report the incident.

Police said Frushon and Perone both had numerous stab wounds to their hands and bodies, and both were taken into surgery. Officers found Frushon’s SUV with a large amount of blood inside the vehicle, and a bloody knife in the nearby bushes, police said.

A bloody knife was also found in Perone’s SUV, records say.

Crystal Hull, Frushon’s girlfriend and an ex-co-worker of Perone, testified she was extremely drunk the night of the fight, and did not recall what happened.

Hull testified she remembered telling the men to stop fighting, and then saw Frushon with “a lot of blood on him.”

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

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Mom reveals where son’s cocaine is hidden, Allentown police say

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The mother's help with police did not keep her from being charged.

When Allentown police raided a city apartment on Friday, the mother of the suspected drug dealer told officers where they could find hidden cocaine, police said.

allentown police carAllentown police said a suspected drug dealer’s mother showed them where to find 75 grams of cocaine. (Lehighvalleylive.com file photo)

Luis Armando Cortes-Torres had 75 grams of cocaine at his mother’s apartment, as well as 100 Tramadol pills at his apartment, police said.

The 36-year-old Cortes-Torres is charged in three cases: possession with intent to deliver cocaine, Tramadol (a narcotic prescription drug) and oxycodone; conspiracy; possession of cocaine; and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Cortes-Torres was sent to Lehigh County Jail in lieu of $175,000 bail.

Irma Torres, his mother, is also charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, conspiracy, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. The 54-year-old Torres was released on $20,000 unsecured bail.


MORE: 23 firearms stolen in Hellertown; some sold to drug dealers, police say

Police raided two locations Friday afternoon — Cortes-Torres apartment in the 500 block of North Second Street, and his mother’s apartment in the 600 block of Ridge Avenue.

Officers saw Cortes-Torres leaving his mother’s apartment and stopped him, police said.

Irma Torres told officer’s her son had cocaine in her home, and showed them 75 grams of cocaine hidden behind a cabinet, police said. Officers also found a digital scale; inositol powder, which is commonly used to dilute cocaine; and other paraphernalia, police said.

Officers also found a loaded 9mm Barretta handgun in a upstairs closet, police said.

When officers stopped Cortes-Torres, the found him with $915 in cash, and a pill bottle with oxycodone and Tramadol. In his apartment, officers found 100 Tramadol pills and a digital scale, police said.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

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DA’s office investigating Allentown man’s death

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The 50-year-old man was pronounced dead Friday morning in St. Luke's Hospital in Allentown.

The death of an Allentown man is under investigation by the Lehigh County District Attorney and Coroner’s offices.

Lehigh County Coroner's Office The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office said it is investigating the death of a 50-year-old Allentown man. (Courtesy image | For lehighvalleylive.com) 

Romegio Rosario, 50, of the 700 block of Genesee Street, was pronounced dead Friday morning at St. Luke’s Hospital in the city, the coroner’s office said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday to determine the manner and cause of death, the coroner said.

The coroner’s office did not reveal what led Rosario to be brought to the hospital, or if he had any injuries.


MORE: Body found in Lehigh River was that of 22-year-old

A message left for Assistant Police Chief Keith Morris asking about the man’s death was not immediately returned.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

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Mom charged with throwing baby in river was full-time student

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Witnesses told police the woman put the boy on the railing, gave him a kiss and pushed him over the edge into the Lehigh River before jumping in herself.

An Allentown woman was going to school full-time and had just moved into an apartment with her son when she allegedly threw her baby boy off a city bridge, killing him.

Johnesha Perry, 20, of the 200 block of North Hall Street, is charged with homicide and child endangerment for death of one-year-old Zymeir Perry.


RELATED: Mother throws baby into Lehigh River, then jumps, Allentown police said

Perry appeared in Lehigh County Central Court Monday morning for her formal arraignment in her criminal case. She remains in jail without bail.

Perry was shackled at the wrists and legs, and appeared upset as she left the hearing.

Perry told Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach that before she was arrested, she was going to school full-time for business and law. Perry said she previously worked jobs in housekeeping and fast food, and had just moved into an apartment on Hall Street with her son.

Public defender Kim Makoul previously said the defense plans to focus on Perry’s mental state at the time of the incident.


RELATED: Case of mom allegedly throwing baby off bridge will focus on ‘mental state,’ defense says

Hamilton Street bridgeJohnesha Monae Perry is accused of throwing her 1-year-old child off the Hamilton Street bridge in Allentown and then following the baby into the water. (Sarah Cassi | For lehighvalleylive.com) 

City police said Perry was pushing her son in a stroller the afternoon of May 3 and stopped on the Hamilton Street bridge.

Witnesses told police Perry put the boy on the railing, gave him a kiss and pushed him over the edge into the Lehigh River before jumping in herself.

The boy was taken out of the river by officers, and both mother and son were taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township for treatment.

Zymeir Perry died later that week from complications from blunt force trauma and drowning, according to the Lehigh County coroner.

Attorneys in the case plan to be back in court in August, with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for September.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

Sisters allegedly ran prostitution business out of Allentown home

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One of the woman recognized an undercover officer in the sting, and ran before she was eventually arrested, city police said.

A pair of sisters ran a prostitution business out of an Allentown home, city police said.

Handcuffs.jpgAllentown police say a pair of sisters ran a prostitution business out of a city home. (Lehighvalleylive.com file photo) 

Kassondra Pond, 22, of the 900 block of Oak Street, and Laurie Malone, who turns 24 on Friday, no address listed, were arrested following a sting on Tuesday.

Each was charged with promoting prostitution, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The women were each sent to Lehigh County Jail in lieu of 10 percent of $5,000 bail.

Police said they arranged a sting by answering an ad on backpage.com. The woman who answered directed the undercover officer to a house in the 900 block of Oak Street.

When the officer arrived, a woman, later identified as Pond, walked him to the home and said unprotected sex would be $200, police said.


RELATED: Sting nets alleged prostitute at Bethlehem hotel

When the officer got to the home’s backyard, Pond told him he would be having sex with her sister, later identified as Malone, police said. Both Pond and Malone tried to take money from the officer, but then Malone recognized him and ran, police said.

Pond was told she was under arrest, and swung her arms and tried to hit the officer before she was eventually handcuffed, police said.

Malone was arrested in the house, police said. Pond reportedly told officers she would set up “dates” for Malone, who would see the men in her house, and Pond would collect half of the money.

Inside the home, officers found a 30-caliber rifle, a digital scale and needles, police said.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

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Allentown man allegedly had 100 grams of heroin in his pants

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Police estimate the man had $38,000 worth of heroin on him and at his apartment.

Allentown police said officers busted a man with about $38,000 dollars worth of heroin, half of which was down his pants.

Allentown police carAllentown police say they busted a man with about 190 grams of heroin, 100 of which was found down his pants. (Lehighvalleylive.com file photo)

Christian Oquendo, of the 900 block of North Fourth Street, is charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin and related offenses.

Oquendo was sent to Lehigh County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bail.

Allentown police said they were investigating Oquendo, and learned he would be transporting about 100 grams of heroin in the Allentown area.

Officers stopped Oquendo as he was driving Wednesday afternoon near South Fountain and West Juniata streets, police said. Police found about 100 grams of heroin Oquendo concealed in his groin area, police said.

Officers then searched his apartment, and found 90 grams of heroin there, plus a digital scale and wax bags used to package heroin, police said.

All told, police said the street value of the seized heroin was about $38,000.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

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Man allegedly grabs Allentown police officer’s gun

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The man is also accused of spitting on another officer, and kicking a police cruiser window.

An Allentown man is facing a felony charge for allegedly grabbing a city police officer’s weapon.

allentown police carAllentown police say a man asked to be taken to a hospital, then grabbed an officer’s gun as he was being searched. (Sarah Cassi | lehighvalleylive.com file photo)

Oscar Rivers, 32, of the first block of South Lafayette Street, is charged with disarming a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness.

Rivers was sent to Lehigh County Jail in lieu of $50,000.

City police said Rivers went to the police substation Friday afternoon at 10th and Hamilton streets to report an alleged assault. Rivers’ mother told officers there was no assault, and she didn’t want Rivers in her house, police said.

Officers told Rivers charges would not be filed and he needed to find another place to stay; he became upset and “very vulgar” toward the officers, police said.

Rivers asked to be taken to a hospital, but fought against officers when they tried to handcuff him, police said.

When an officer searched Rivers, he put both of his hands on the officer’s and spit on another officer as they were taking him to a police cruiser, police said. Rivers became irate in the car, and kicked the door and window, police said.

A breath test showed Rivers blood-alcohol level was .206 percent, police said.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

Allentown man admits viewing child porn daily for months, police say

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City police said they received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about two images of child pornography posted online.

An Allentown man admitted viewing child pornography daily from December 2014 to February on his computer and cellphone, city police said.

allentown police carAllentown police say a city man admitted viewing child pornography for months. (Sarah Cassi | For lehighvalleylive.com) 

Timmy Fenstermaker, 27, of the 200 block of South Saint Cloud Street, was charged Friday with possession of child pornography, disseminating photos of child sex acts, and criminal use of a communication facility.

He was sent to Lehigh County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.

City police said they received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about a user with Fenstermaker’s name posting two images of child pornography online on Feb. 10.

Authorities traced the images to an IP address, which led them to Fenstermaker’s home, police said. Police raided the address on April 3, and spoke with Fenstermaker on June 24.

During the interview, Fenstermakeer told investigators he viewed child porn daily from December to February, and saved the images to his computer and cellphone, police said.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

Victims identified in double homicide on Allentown street

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The man and woman found shot to death early Sunday near a vehicle at Sixth and Greenleaf streets in Allentown have been identified.

allentowncopcar.jpegAllentown police are investigating a double homicide. 

The man and woman found shot to death early Sunday near a vehicle at Sixth and Greenleaf streets in Allentown have been identified.

Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim has identified the pair as Trevor D. Gray, 21, of the 100 block of West Gordon Street, and Francine E. Ramos, 32, of the 800 block of West Chew Street, both in Allentown.

Grim ruled both deaths homicides caused by gunshot wounds to the body. Autopsies are scheduled to be performed on Monday.

Police responded about 4 a.m. Sunday to a report of shots fired at the intersection and found Gray and Ramos suffering from gunshot wounds, said Assistant Chief Bill Lake.


RELATED: Police seek public’s help in solving double murder


Police have declined comment on any possible relationship between the pair, any connection they may have to the neighborhood or the model vehicle in which they were found.

Grim pronounced Gray dead at 5 a.m. and Ramos at 5:02 a.m. at the scene, according to a news release.

Police said Sunday afternoon the investigation is ongoing and no suspects have been arrested.

“We’re actively investigating it,” Lake said. “I don’t have much more.”

There is no evidence of drug dealing in the vehicle, Lake said.

Friends of Ramos have taken to her Facebook page to express sadness.

“Omg i can’t believe it i just heard, may you rest in peace mama, i pray that catch the person that did it,” said Natalie Ortiz.

“I can’t believe this rip baby girl I will pray for your kids and family xoxoxo,” said Alyson Sanchez.

“Haven’t seen you in over a decade but damn we had practically every class together almost in elementary and middle school! Such sad news much much love to you and your family! Rest in peace my friend!!,” said Bruce Smith.

Ramos had attended Middletown High School in New York, according to her Facebook bio.

Anyone with information on the killings is asked to call the city police detective bureau at 610-437-7721.

Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at pholzmann@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @pamholzmann.

Man, woman found murdered in or near vehicle at Allentown intersection, police say

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Details are scarce as the investigation by city police, the Lehigh County coroner and district attorney continues.

Allentown police carAllentown police are investigating a double murder. (lehighvalleylive.com file photo) 

UPDATE: Victims identified in Allentown double homicide

The man and woman shot to death early Sunday were found in or near a vehicle at Sixth and Greenleaf streets in Allentown, city police report.

Police responded about 4 a.m. to a report of shots fired at the intersection and found a 21-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman suffering from gunshot wounds, Assistant Chief Bill Lake said Sunday afternoon. By the time police and EMS were on the scene, the pair appeared dead, Lake said.

Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim pronounced them dead at the scene — the man at 5 a.m. and the woman at 5:02, according to a news release.

Both deaths were ruled homicides and both were caused by gunshot wounds, Grim said. Autopsies are scheduled for Monday, he added.

Just after 2 p.m., Grim said by email that the victims have been identified and next of kin was being notified. Once that is complete, more information will be released on the man and the woman, Grim said.

Nobody is in custody, Lake said.

“We’re actively investigating it,” Lake said. “I don’t have much more.”

Police won’t comment on any possible relationship between the man and the woman, any connection they may have to the neighborhood or the model vehicle in which they were found, Lake said.

Grim said a relationship wasn’t immediately apparent; they appeared to be friends or acquaintances.

There is no evidence of drug dealing in the vehicle, Lake said.

Many detectives are pursuing the investigation, along with personnel from the coroner’s office and the county Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office, Lake said.

Anyone with information on the killings is asked to call the city police detective bureau at 610-437-7721.

Lehigh Street in Allentown reopens following sinkhole repair

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Lehigh Street at Downeyflake Lane had been closed since Tuesday afternoon.

The Allentown street closed because of a sinkhole reopened Wednesday afternoon, city police said.

It was a few minutes before the estimated 3:30 p.m. reopening when police Capt. Bill Reinik said traffic was again flowing on Lehigh Street. The street had been closed since Tuesday afternoon.

Crews had the sinkhole along Lehigh Street at Downeyflake Lane filled by Wednesday morning, but needed to cover the repairs with asphalt and let it cure.

The sinkhole was caused by a break in a 12-inch-diameter water main, according to the Lehigh County Authority. Reinik said crews had to dig up the road to be sure the sinkhole did not run underneath; it didn’t, but that left two areas to patch.

In addition to the traffic problems, the detour led to a scary situation for Reinik and crews directing traffic Tuesday evening. A Northampton County man is accused of driving around the barricades and nearly hitting fire police officers, then speeding up at Reinik before fleeing.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find Allentown news on our Facebook page.

Allentown counts fewer murders, more rapes in 2014 crime report

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Police are 'attacking crime in our neighborhoods … we are a safer city as a result of it,' the mayor says.

joel fitzgerald, ed pawlowski Allentown police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, at the podium, discusses the city’s 2014 crime report on June 15, 2015. To the left of Fitzgerald is Mayor Ed Pawlowski, and on the right are Capt. Gail Struss, Assistant Chief Bill Lake and Assistant Chief Keith Morris. (Sarah Cassi | For lehighvalleylive.com)

For Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, 2014 was a good year when it came to crime statistics.

The pair on Monday released the 2014 crime report for the city showing that part 1 crimes — which includes murder, rape, robbery and assault — were down by more than 10 percent compared to 2013.

Police are “attacking crime in our neighborhoods… we are a safer city as a result of it,” Pawlowski said.

You can read the full report here and see the presentation from Monday’s news conference here.

The city ended 2014 with 10 murders, as opposed to 13 in 2013, equaling a 23 percent drop, according to the report. The number of homicides in the city has hit double digits almost every year since 2003, with the exception being 2010 when the city had 9 murders, according to the report.

Robberies involving firearms were down 14 percent, and assaults with dangerous weapons (not including guns or knives) were down 42 percent year-over-year.

For the first time since 2000, the number of burglaries in the city dropped below 1,000. There were 940 burglaries in Allentown in 2014, down 25 percent from 2013.

There were also increases in certain crimes.

Rape increased almost 7 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year, and 2014 marked the second highest number of rapes in the city since 2000. The most rapes in the city over the past 14 years occurred in 2009, when the city had 67, according to the report.

Robberies involving knives or cutting instruments were up 52 percent compared to 2013, and assault with firearms increased 38 percent, according to the city report.

The biggest percentage increases included thefts from coin operate devices, which rose 150 percent from two to five incidents; thefts of trucks and buses, which increased almost 112 percent from nine to 19 incidents; and vagrancy, which went from 13 incidents in 2013 to 25 incidents in 2014, increasing 92 percent, the report says.

“The crime numbers are only part of our community story,” Fitzgerald said.

The chief said the department is taking a “holistic” approach to fighting crime, such as involving the city’s Bureau of Buildings Standards and Safety, or the health department when officers respond to homes.

“You’re seeing that problem-solving effect take hold,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald thanked his team, and said the department’s 200-plus officers deserve the “lion’s share” of the appreciation.

“This is a culmination of many, many years of effort,” Fitzgerald said.

With talk of numbers, officials were asked about officer overtime.

The department was over-budget on overtime last year, spending just over $2 million when it was budgeted $1.4 million, officials previously said. The department’s overtime budget in 2015 is $1.8 million.

Pawlowski seemed to bristle at questions about the police department’s overtime, noting the department is under budget overall.

“We’re certainly are,” Fitzgerald added.

The mayor said the department’s overtime was “appropriate,” adding “they’re obviously attacking crime where they need to.”

Fitzgerald said officers’ overtime was the cost of doing their jobs, such as going to court following arrests.

“Overtime plays a role in police activities – period,” Fitzgerald said. “If we get more arrests, we’ll see more court overtime.”

But Councilman Julio Guridy said earlier this year he believed overtime was due to the new PPL Arena and a shortage of officers. The city was at 207 officers by the end of 2013, hired four more earlier this year and is approved for 222 officers.

BY THE NUMBERS

Police department: 221 sworn officers

Budget: $33 million

Calls to 911 center (911 and non-emergency): 223,344

Dispatched calls (includes police, fire EMS, animal control and parking): 156,934

911 text messages received: 67

Man assaults estranged girlfriend in child’s bedroom, police say

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The 19-year-old is free on bail in a previous case in which he is accused of driving drunk and possessing a stolen firearm.

allentown police carAllentown police say a city man free on bail assaulted his estranged girlfriend in the couple’s daughter’s bedroom. (Sarah Cassi | lehighvalleylive.com file photo)

An Allentown man free on bail for alleged drunken driving and possession of a stolen gun is accused of assaulting his estranged girlfriend in their child’s bedroom.

Jose Luis Figueroa, 19, of the 100 block of South 13th Street, is charged with simple assault, child endangerment, harassment and criminal mischief.

Figueroa’s bail was set at $10,000 in the most recent case, but bail was revoked in the previous case.

Allentown police were called for a reported assault at about 1:50 a.m. Monday in the 1200 block of East Marks Street, according to court records.

The victim, who had injuries to her lips and mouth, said she was sleeping in their daughter’s bedroom that night because the couple is separated.

The woman told police Figueroa tried to reconcile with her and, when she refused, an argument began, records say.

Figueroa grabbed the woman’s phone and smashed it against a wall above the bed where their 1-year-old daughter was sleeping, police said.

Figueroa then grabbed the woman and slammed her head against the bed, causing her injuries, police said. Figueroa told the woman if he sees her with another guy, “Things are going to happen,” records say.

Police said when officers tried to stop Figueroa in the early morning of May 31 in the 700 block of Hanover Street, he drove over the curb and then hit a parked car. Figueroa stumbled out of the car and smelled of alcohol, police said.

Officers found a Glock 26 9mm handgun under the front passenger seat, and records showed the gun was reported stolen from Florida, police said. Figueroa did not have a license to carry a concealed firearm, police said.

In that case, Figueroa was charged with firearms carried without a license, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number, driving under the influence and three summary traffic violations.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find Allentown news on our Facebook page.