Archive for category allentown police department

Girl’s ex accused of using baseball bat in attack on parents

The stepfather suffered serious injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment, police said.

A girl’s ex-boyfriend is accused of attacking her stepfather with a bat and punch…

Harasser grabs female victims by the hand, won’t let go, police say

The 19-year-old tells the women they are pretty or he is interested in them, and refuses to release them as they pull away, police said.

At least 12 young women reported that anA…

Alleged semen-thrower now accused of targeting teen girl

Michael Morris, of Easton, has been in Lehigh County Jail awaiting trial on charges from other cases.

A man accused of throwing semen on unsuspecting women is now accused of targ…

Man critically injured in Allentown shooting

The 33-year-old victim was listed in critical but stable condition, police said.

Allentown police say a man was critically injured in a West End shooting overnight.
The 33-y…

Man allegedly leaves toddlers home alone to go to court

The man is on parole for assaulting his pregnant girlfriend last May.

An Allentown man is accused of leaving a pair of 3 year olds home alone while he reported to county cou…

Allentown man charged in stabbing, police say

The 20-year-old is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

A 20-year-old Allentown man was jailed after he stabbed a 31-year-old man in the back on Monday evening, city police&n…

What did Allentown’s mayor discuss at the state of the city?

Mayor Ed Pawlowski discussed infrastructure improvements, crime, a new contest to draw retail businesses to Allentown, and a tree census.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s state of the city address on Friday touched on a handful of new programs and improvements that he says will continue Allentown’s positive momentum.

“We have to do more, and we will do more,” the mayor said at a luncheon with the Allentown Rotary Club at the Renaissance Hotel at Seventh and Hamilton streets.

ed pawlowskiAllentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski spoke optimistically about Allentown’s future Friday at his annual state of the city address, but did not touch on the FBI’s investigation into a pay-to-play scheme involving city contracts. (Sarah Cassi | photo) 

Pawlowski said there is no such thing as a perfect city and highlighted both the good and bad aspects of Rome, Berlin and London. Cities can’t balance the myriad of different wants from residents and visitors with the realistic things that come with them, the mayor said.

People want cultural attractions that draw residents and visitors, but don’t want the traffic, the mayor said. Residents want to be close to public transportation and airports, but don’t want the noise pollution, Pawlowski said.

“There will be probably never be a perfect place to live,” Pawlowski said, later adding, “thriving means increasing the quality of life, not just the standard of living.”


Among the infrastructure upgrades and improvements for 2016 is a new $5.1 million water main replacement program. This is also the third year the city has received a $50,000 grant to address gas pipeline safety issues.

The city also plans to convert 5,000 street lights to LEDs, “saving us money and energy along the way,” Pawlowski said.

“And all these infrastructure improvements will benefit for decades to come.”


“A few years ago no one — and I mean no one — wanted to come into Allentown. I probably would have had a better time convincing people to come into downtown Kabul (in Afghanistan) than I would have had getting people to come into downtown Allentown,” Pawlowski said.

The city has hired 89 new police officers, is finalizing an in-car camera system for police cruisers, and will use a $250,000 grant for officers to be equipped with body cameras by the end of this year.

The city added 15 new surveillance cameras in 2015, and plans to install 14 more this year – bringing the city total to 160-plus cameras.

Mayor’s speech ignores feds, council condemnation

“They are making a difference,” the mayor said, adding there is a 20 percent drop in crime for a block after a city camera is installed.

There are also new programs to connect police on a more personal level with residents, especially children.

That includes the youth police academy, and a new advanced youth police academy to develop positive interaction with law enforcement and “getting our youth to engage back with our officers,” Pawlowski said.

A chief’s youth advisory panel will allow students to speak and question officers, and a new program at the middle school level will highlight students making positive decisions.

“Allentown is becoming a safer city,” the mayor said.


Pawlowksi said the city’s “cool factor” needs to go beyond the Allentown Art Museum and Symphony Hall, although he added those institutions continue to do a great job.

The city added 18 new restaurants, and eateries, and is now focusing on retail business.

A new retail business competition will be a public-private partnership involving the Hamilton Street program, Main Street program, Seventh Street program, the Chamber of Commerce, the Community Action Development Corp. and community development block grant funds. Up to 10 new retail business plans will compete for awards like a $15,000 in a forgivable loan, the mayor said.

“This will help continue to build the momentum that we have seen happen downtown,” Pawlowski said.


Allentown will roll out a new coupon program based on the amount a resident recycles.

The coupons will be good for stores like Target and Walmart, as well as local businesses, and will reward residents who recycle, Pawlowski said.

The city is planning a new website with interactive screens to make it easier for residents to get information on trash disposal and recycling, and is expanding the number of solar trash compactors.


“A great city is one where people want to get out of their homes … to have fun and hang out with other folks,” the mayor said, referring to city parks, streets, sidewalks, squares, trails and community gardens.

The city is renovating and adding new playgrounds, improved the golf course driving range and planted 150 trees, and is adding a new skate park and dog park.

The city will also embark on creating a street tree inventory system to document and evaluate the trees.

“This is a lot of trees, folks. In the city alone we have 11,000 trees,” he said.


The mayor ended his speech with a video produced by Upside Allentown whose narration was written using the words of William Allen High School students, which the mayor said inspired him.

“No one bailed us out … Allentown today is a resilient city,” Pawlowski said. “We will have our challenges. But we will keep changing the world if we keep working together to keep moving the city forward.”


Allentown has certainly changed over the past few years. We wanted to create something that reveals the transformation that has occurred. This short film captures heart, spirit and character of this City as it continues to be transformed. We have a long way to go but have made so much progress that we can celebrate. #transformation #upside #allentown #nextchapter

Posted by Upside Allentown on Friday, January 29, 2016

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

Two Medical Academy Charter School students admit roles in melee with police

Police alleged seven students, ages 15 to 17, from the Medical Academy Charter School in Catasauqua tussled with Allentown officers the afternoon of Nov. 13.

Two teens have admit…

Mom accused of tossing baby from bridge not going to trial anytime soon

Johnesha Perry is charged with homicide and child endangerment for death of her son, Zymeir Perry.

Defense attorneys for the mother accused of throwing her baby off an Allentown …

DA, Allentown police chief stand by officers following melee with students

“I don’t know what’s gotten into these kids, frankly,” Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Lehigh County’s district attorney and the chief of Allentown’s police department joined together Tuesday to decry what they said are attacks by local students against police officers.

jim martin, keith morris 11-17-2015From right, Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff Dimmig, Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin and Allentown Police Chief Keith Morris, hold a news conference Tuesday about the recent spate of violence involving local students against police officers. (Sarah Cassi | 

“I’m not happy about the violence,” District Attorney Jim Martin said at the news conference, adding it is concerning to law enforcement in and around the Lehigh Valley. “I don’t know what’s gotten into these kids, frankly.”

RELATED: WATCH: Swarming teens provoke assault on Allentown cop

Calling the involved students “ruffians” and “hooligans,” Martin said they, “purely have no respect for authority.”

The outcry was spurred by the most recent fracas on Friday afternoon, where police allege seven students from the Medical Academy Charter School in Catasauqua tussled with Allentown officers.

Chief Keith Morris said Allentown officers were called at 4:07 p.m. for a large fight in the 500 block of Barner Street.

Officers found a large crowd actively engaged in a fight, Morris said, and when the officers tried to break it up, they were met with resistance.

“The crowd became belligerent and aggressive,” Morris said. “They continually and repeatedly refused to follow orders.”

Seven juveniles, ages 15 to 17, were arrested. Morris said the teens actively resisted arrest, and others in the crowd physically tried to interfere with the arrests by jumping on the officers’ backs.

RELATED: Middle school fights prompt arrests, beefed-up police presence

The teens facing charges including rioting, resisting arrest, hindering apprehension, reckless endangerment, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct. None of the students are in detention.

There are claims that officers used excessive force in the arrests, which Morris and Martin discredited. Specifically, Morris said dash cam video from police cruisers disputes the claims.

“There is no evidence … officers acted inappropriately,” Morris said. “I believe they showed a tremendous amount of restraint.”

In the video, a student claimed an officer tried to handcuff him and Martin said they may show that video at that teen’s adjudication hearing.

“We’re gong to prosecute these kids as vigorously as possible,” Martin said.

WFMZ obtained the video of Friday’s incident from Michael Frassetto, a Medical Academy teacher who earlier this year organized a walkout of Allentown students.


Posted by Michael Frassetto on Monday, November 16, 2015

Prosecutors said Frassetto refused to provide the video to police.

“Which tells you all you need to know about Mr. Frassetto,” Martin said, adding if he could have arrested Frassetto for the September walkout leading to students’ truancy, he would have. “I think the man is a hindrance.”

Martin said the incidents between students and police officers appears to be escalating, and it’s not a situation of kids not knowing the difference between right and wrong.

Allentown Superintendent Russell Mayo stressed Friday’s incident involved Medical Academy students, and that the Allentown School District has no jurisdiction or authority over those students. Mayo said he received calls from parents mistakenly thinking the students involved were from the district.

Recent incidents that have involved Allentown students have ranged from a melee involving at least 100 students after William Allen’s dismissal that injured four officers, to fights at Trexler Middle School causing a lockdown, to a Dieruff student allegedly pushing a teachers down the school’s bleachers and then punching the teacher. 

“We take any of the incidents involving our kids very seriously,” Mayo said.

Mayo noted the school cannot take action on incidents that occur off school property. But for those that do, Mayo said the district’s response is to investigate and take action swiftly.

The superintendent said be believes the recent fights have involved about 5 percent of the district’s students, and they are overshadowing the other 95 percent.

Speaking to parents, Mayo said, “In spite of the recent incidents, their kids are safe.”

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

‘Sweet’ dog found gashed, abused is rescued in Allentown

Police found the emaciated pup with cuts and a skull fracture. The Lehigh County Humane Society is now searching for a foster family for Sally.

Allentown police found Sally, an y…

Man shot in Allentown, city police say

A man shot early Sunday in the 400 block of 4th Street has non-life threatening injuries, Allentown police say.

A man walking along the 400 block of 4th Street in Allentown …

Violent crimes down in Allentown, Easton in 2014, crime stats say

Bethlehem’s violent crimes increased in 2014, according to the report, but the city’s police chief said the city’s overall crime rate decreased.

crime scene tapeStatistics for 2014 show violent crimes dropped in Allentown and Easton, but increased in Bethlehem. Bethlehem’s police chief said the numbers don’t tell the whole story. ( file photo)

Two of the Lehigh Valley’s three cities followed the national trend last year of seeing a drop in the number of violent crimes, according to the Uniform Crime Reporting 2014 data issued by the FBI.

The figures showed violent crime across the country decreased 0.2 percent in 2014, when compared to 2013.

While Allentown and Easton saw a decrease in the total number of murders, robberies, rapes and aggravated assaults, Bethlehem saw a slight increase in such crimes in 2014, the report says.

Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio countered that Bethlehem’s part one crimes — which includes the violent crimes plus simple assault, burglary, theft and arson —  decreased last year, and that the city’s overall crime rate dropped .02 percent.

“Numbers only tell part of the story. You still need background to explain some of these numbers,” DiLuzio said.

To wit, Bethlehem’s chief noted that a killing spree that hit Easton and Allentown in July will skew those cities crime statistics for 2015. Prosecutors have said the killings in the cities, and a shooting in Palmer Township, were random.

“You can have one crime spree and it will jack your crime rate up for your entire city,” DiLuzio said. “You have to look at the actual incident.”

Property crime — burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson — was down in the Lehigh Valley’s three largest cities. That also follows the nation-wide trend, where property crimes decreased by 4.3 percent, according to the FBI’s crime statistics.


Bethlehem only had one murder in 2014 — where a city woman threw a knife at her estranged lover during a fight.

The UCR report shows the Christmas City’s violent crime rate — murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — jumped 15 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year. There were 211 reported violent incidents last year, compared to 183 in 2013.

DiLuzio said the city’s part one crimes actually decreased 7 percent in 2014, compared to 2013.

DiLuzio said the changes made when he took over in department 2014 have helped. That includes increased foot patrols and bike patrols in Bethlehem’s business district and other busy areas of the city.

“(Residents) like seeing the cops on the streets,” he said.

It also includes a street crime unit focusing on incidents like daytime burglaries and store robberies, the chief said.

So far this year, DiLuzio said the city’s crime figures have stayed consistent with 2014. There has been one killing in the city so far in 2015 — a fatal stabbing in a city group home.

DiLuzio has more plans for community policing in Bethlehem, but didn’t want to reveal the details just yet.


Easton also ended 2014 with a lone murder — the death of an Orange, N.J. man shot in the city’s West Ward in December of that year.

And the city’s reported violent crimes also decreased last year, a little more than 18 percent.

Easton Police Chief Carl Scalzo Jr. said the city saw a decrease in homicides, rapes and robberies, and a slight increase in aggravated assault, but no drastic changes.

The city already has more murders this year than in 2014 — the killing of Andrew ‘Beep’ White at the Quality Inn, and the fatal shooting of Kory Ketrow that prosecutors said was part of a killing spree that started in New Jersey and ended in Allentown.

Scalzo also said percentage increases don’t tell the full story. There were two homicides in Easton in 2013, one in 2014, and now two this year — but the report’s percentages will show drastic changes.

“Because the numbers are so small, any variation is a drastic percent difference,” Scalzo said.

And while the city saw a decrease in rapes for 2014, Scalzo said, some sexual assaults can be virtually impossible to prevent.

“Then we have to be reactive, and investigate and solve them, and ultimately bring whoever is responsible to justice,” the chief said.

The department has no specific crimes it is focusing on this year, rather keeping a “fluid” approach and changing to respond to crime patterns and areas of the city that start to become problems, Scalzo said.

But like Bethlehem, the chief said Easton police are highlighting foot patrols in the city, and interaction with residents.


The crime reports for Allentown showed part one crimes were down by more than 10 percent compared to 2013.

Allentown officials lauded the 2014 crime statistics when the city announced the results this past June.

The city ended 2014 with 10 murders, as opposed to 13 in 2013, equaling a 23 percent drop, according to the report. The FBI’s report shows 9 murders.

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.

Allentown’s department is currently going through a shakeup, after Chief Joel Fitzgerald announced he is taking a chief position in Fort Worth, Texas. Keith Morris was named the department’s interim chief on Thursday.

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

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Allentown street singer accused of hitting SUV with cane

James Ochse is accused of hitting a passing SUV with his cane, then yelling obscenities at the driver.

Allentown street singer James Ochse, 61, is facing more legal woes. (Sarah …

Teen identifies gunman in fatal Allentown marijuana deal

‘I was in the car the whole time,’ Hasheam Mack-Tamsmore says at guilty plea hearing.

The plan was just to rip off an Allentown man during a marijuana deal on the city’s east side last fall, Hasheam Mack-Tamsmore said Monday.

On the night of Sept. 25, Mack-Tamsmore and a previously unidentified second man pulled guns on Diego Luis Hernandez Rivera and Hector Badillo, and took about one pound of marijuana, cash and a phone, prosecutors said.

But one of the robbers fired his gun and Rivera was fatally shot once in the chest. Until Monday, prosecutors did not know the identify of the second man and weren’t sure who fired the fatal shot.

During his guilty plea to third-degree murder and robbery, 19-year-old Mack-Tamsmore said he was only the driver during the deal, and that the second man, Terrell Neal, was the gunman in the killing.

After the hearing, First Assistant District Attorney Steven Luksa refused to comment if police were looking for Neal, and would only say his office has not issued a warrant for Neal.

Records show a Terrell Neal was arrested Aug. 12 and is in a Philadelphia jail on firearms charges.

Sentencing for Mack-Tamsmore is set for Oct. 13. As part of the deal, his minimum sentence will be capped at 25 years in state prison, and he faces a maximum of 60 years. The teen remains in Lehigh County Jail without bail.

RELATED: Witnesses describe fatal marijuana robbery in East Allentown

Police said Rivera and Mack-Tamsmore were arranging a drug deal the day of the shooting through text messages, with the last contact 11 minutes before the shooting.

Rivera’s stepbrother, Kevin Ortiz, previously testified that he drove Rivera to American Plaza, where a red SUV met them, and then drove to Jay Street with the SUV following behind.

Mack-Tamsmore said he was driving and Neal was in the passenger seat. Both were armed, but Mack-Tamsmore said Neal had an AR-15 rifle that night.

Rivera got out of the car and went into the SUV, while Ortiz stayed in the car. Ortiz testified he was eating and getting ready to make a call when he heard a boom and saw a flash. Ortiz said he got out of the car and ran to hide, and when he looked out he saw Rivera’s body in the street with a gunshot wound.

On Monday, police said Rivera was reaching to get out of the car, when Neal said he thought Rivera was reaching for a gun. The two men got out of the car, and were scuffling over the AR-15 Neal was holding, when Neal fired one shot, Mack-Tamsmore said.

“I was in the car the whole time,” Mack-Tamsmore said.

Luksa said Rivera’s wound was “rapidly fatal” and he was dead by the time police arrived. Luksa said evidence showed it would have been difficult for Mack-Tamsmore to fire the rifle from the driver’s seat and hit Rivera.

Police said they previously showed the teen a photo of Neal, but he did not identify Neal. On Monday, police showed Mack-Tamsmore the same photo, and he confirmed it was Neal.

After the shooting, Neal and Mack-Tamsmore split the marijuana, and the teen said he drove Neal back to Philadelphia.

Police found Rivera’s cellphone near his body, and found the texts between him and “Mack.” Police used the number to track the phone to various stores, and learned a girl — Mack-Tamsmore’s girlfriend — shared the phone with him and was using it to apply for jobs.

Police used cellphone records to identify Mack-Tamsmore and they used the girlfriend’s employment applications to find his address in the 300 bock of North Sixth Street, according to court records.

When police raided his apartment, they found a Colt AR-15 assault rifle with a spent casing stuck in the rifle, dozens of rounds of ammunition, numerous bags of marijuana, packaging material, cash and gloves, police said.

During the guilty plea, Mack-Tamsmore said he met Neal at the Glen Mills Schools in Delaware County. Prosecutors said they are requesting Neal’s records to confirm the information.

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