Archive for category Crime

Pair in break-in, standoff were both shot in head

Authorities released the cause of death for the 25-year-old woman and 33-year-old man following autopsies.

The man and woman who broke into an Upper Saucon Township home, sparkin…

Man jailed after alleged attack with wooden plank, knife

The attacker began swinging various objects at a pair during an assault, police said.

A Slatington man was jailed after police said he threatened a pair by swinging a metal …

Youthful killer Qu’eed Batts’ sentence thrown out again in precedent-setting decision

The precedent-setting decision was handed down Monday from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court

A precedent-setting Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision will give Easton killer Qu’…

Caregiver steals credit cards from patient’s family, cops say

The woman rang up $9,420 worth of stolen purchases, police said.

A Lehigh Township woman is accused of ringing up $9,420 worth of goods on credit cards stolen from the famil…

2 in apparent murder-suicide: ‘Addiction overwhelmed him and her’

Autopsies are expected to be completed later Monday on the bodies.

UPDATE: Pair in break-in, standoff were both shot in head
The man who engaged authorities in an all-d…

I-78 trucker caught hauling $5.4M in drugs on road to long prison term

He was also carrying 22 pounds of cocaine, authorities say.

A 40-year-old Los Angeles man was sentenced Friday to 10 years in New Jersey state prison after he was arrested in Aug…

Lehigh County inmate dead by apparent suicide, official says

The inmate, who did not have a cellmate, was found unresponsive Saturday night, county officials said.

An Allentown man serving time for a parole violation died after an app…

My house ‘looks like a war zone,’ man says after deadly standoff

The deaths continue to be investigated by the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office and Upper Saucon Township police.

Dave Stahler returned home Sunday morning to broken photographs and significant damage to his walls and floors.

fatzingermessick.jpgFrom left, Eric Ryan Messick and Emily Anne Fatzinger. (WFMZ and Courtesy photo)

In his house in the 4100 block of Lanark Road in Upper Saucon Township, he found candy wrappers, chips and a plastic jug of lemonade thrown about, he said.

Stahler left to get groceries Saturday afternoon. He didn’t get back inside until Sunday.

“There was damage from flash grenades going on; a robot went up the steps and you could see the wheel marks,” he said Sunday. “There was garbage. It looked like a war zone.”

The house became the scene of a police standoff all day Saturday — with residents estimating upward of 75 police vehicles, a helicopter and teams of officers in bulletproof vests — swarming the neighborhood. Nearby Wedgewood Golf Course was cleared of golfers and went into lockdown.

The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office said Emily Anne Fatzinger, 25, of Pike County, Pa., and Eric Ryan Messick, 33, of the 200 block of South Railroad Street in Walnutport, were pronounced dead at 10:02 p.m.

Stahler said police found the two dead in his attic. The home sits far back off the main roadway on private property, he said.

They had barricaded themselves in there, Stahler said, after police said earlier they had fired at officers with Messick armed with a .357-caliber handgun.

Authorities described their deaths as an apparent murder-suicide. Autopsies are set for Monday.

The two had lengthy criminal backgrounds.

Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin and Upper Saucon Township police did not immediately return calls for more information Sunday.

‘Shadows across the wall’

Authorities said the two fled into the neighborhood after police tried to stop their car on nearby Route 309.

Edward Petro, who has lived on Limeport Pike for the past 40 years, said he was watching television when he saw two shadows dance across the white wall of his living room. He waited for the doorbell to ring, but instead Messick and Fatzinger barged through his unlocked front door, armed with a handgun, Petro said.

“The first thing I saw was him and in his left hand was a firearm,” Petro said, noting the gun was pointed at his feet. “He said, ‘Give me the keys.'”

Petro said he quickly came up with a story about how his mechanic was fixing his car and still had the keys because they were “specialty keys.”

“He accepted that and just left,” Petro said.

District attorney Martin told WFMZ that other neighbors were approached by the pair demanding car keys, including a woman sitting on her porch with her dog. Petro said Mesick was seen walking across a street carrying a handgun.

When police discovered the pair were in the neighborhood, “(expletive) hit the fan,” Petro said.

“People were then being ordered out of their homes,” he said.

Residents in the nearby Traditions of America of Saucon Valley development, an age 55-and-over housing development, learned of the standoff on social media. They informed each other to lock doors and stay inside.

“It was kind-of surreal,” said Becky Keane, who lives in the development currently housing about 150 people.

2 killed in apparent murder-suicide are identified

‘Something not right’

Stahler returned home from the grocery store and when he went to turn the key into the front door, he said the door wouldn’t budge. He then opened the deadbolt, which he said he rarely locks.

Once inside, Stahler noticed the door to his cellar was open with the light on.

“I saw there’s something not right,” he said.

Stahler was on the phone with a friend who knew of the standoff and told Stahler to get out of the house and get help. Stahler called police from his neighbor’s home, he said.

Stahler was then ordered out of his home until Sunday morning. He stayed overnight with a family member, he said.

“I keep thinking if I walked in there (basement), they would have shot at me,” Stahler said, also adding he was grateful he took his dog along with him to the store. “Someone was looking out for me. I was just glad I walked away with my life intact.”

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

Shots fired near Easton arts trail parking lot, police say

There’s no indication that the incident had anything to do with the nearby silk mill development, police say.

Shots were fired early Sunday morning near the parking lot to the Karl Stirner Arts Trail on Easton‘s 13th Street, city police report.

Pedestrian bridge near Easton silk millShots were fired early in the morning June 25, 2017, near the entrance to the Karl Stirner Arts Trails on 13th Street in Easton, city police report. (lehighvalleylive.com file photo)
 

No one was wounded and there was no property damage in the gunfire about 2:45 a.m., police Inspector Daniel Reagan said in a news release.

When officers were initially dispatched at 2:43 a.m., they didn’t find any evidence of the shooting, but when they returned later, they recovered shell casings, Reagan said.

There’s no immediate indication anyone was targeted in the shooting, Reagan said.

Car plows into convenience store

The parking lot leads to the trail which parallels Route 22 and emerges more than a mile later at the blue bridge on Bushkill Drive not far from Downtown.

It did not appear the shooting had any connection to the new Simon Silk Mill development on the other side of the Bushkill Creek, Reagan said.

“It’s not a problem area,” Reagan said.

For years the east side of the road was an abandoned mill, but recently people and businesses have moved into some of the revived buildings in the multi-million development. The trail, named after the late, trailblazing Easton artist, attracts dog walkers and bicycle riders and at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, nothing appeared out of the ordinary at the 13th Street trailhead.

The investigation continues, Reagan added.

Anyone with information should call Reagan at 610-250-6796. Also, anonymous tips can be called in to 610-250-6635. 

Tony Rhodin may be reached at arhodin@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyRhodin. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

2 killed in apparent murder-suicide are identified

Court records indicate the pair had lengthy criminal backgrounds.

The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office has identified the two people killed Saturday evening in what authorities are…