Fatal stabbing reported; coroner says it’s a homicide

Details were slim as Allentown police dealt with a “fluid situation.”

UPDATE: Man arrested in Allentown stabbing death

There was a fatal stabbing early Saturday morning in the 400 block of East Cumberland Street in Allentown, authorities say.

Police Capt. Bill Lake confirmed the stabbing and Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim confirmed his office responded, meaning someone died.

Lake called it a “fluid situation” and said he couldn’t immediately supply further information. He said he would try to release more information in an hour.

Grim later said it was a fatal stabbing and there was one victim. He said it was a homicide and an autopsy would be planned for Monday. The man’s identity will be withheld until his family has been notified, Grim said.

MORE: Shooting reported outside diner

The incident began about 5 a.m. Emergency dispatches said the person was stabbed in the chest, back and neck.

An attached home at 435 E. Cumberland was isolated by police tape.

An emergency radio dispatch about 8 a.m. said police were requesting Hector Luis Arroyo Rivera, 22, be stopped and held. He is 5 feet 4 inches tall, has brown eyes and black hair and was wearing a dark shirt, the dispatch said. He was driving a 2009 white four-door Acura with a license plate of JZA5053, the dispatch said. The dispatch tied Rivera to 435 W. Cumberland.

Lake wasn’t immediately available to confirm that information.

Freelance photographer Mike Nester contributed to this report.

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

WATCH: Radar probes for Burnside Plantation link to Revolutionary War

George Washington is thought to have stored items at the Bethlehem plot, but the question remains as to exactly where.

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Opinions Online, 5/21/16

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‘Superfly’ Snuka squares off with judge in competency hearing

The questions ranged from Snuka’s given name, to whether professional wrestling is fake.

Smiling and speaking sometimes in a raspy voice, former wrestling star Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka took the witness stand Friday to speak with the judge deciding if he’s competent to stand trial on a murder charge.

Judge Kelly Banach’s questions ranged from Snuka’s name to details about the legal proceedings, but stayed away from details of the case.

Snuka, of Waterford Township, New Jersey, is charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the May 1983 death of Nancy Argentino in Whitehall Township.

Friday’s hearing, the third time Snuka has been in court for the competency proceedings, did not mark the end of testimony.

Snuka’s wife, Carol, is expected to testify at the next hearing scheduled for next month. Experts have testified about Carol Snuka answering questions for her husband and providing information at meetings with doctors, attorneys and mental health experts.

The judge has indicated she does not plan to rule on Snuka’s competency from the bench.

WATCH: Videos from the ‘Superfly’ Snuka hearings

While the differing opinions of the prosecution and defense’s experts have led to testy exchanges and yelling in court, the interview between the judge and Snuka was relaxed, and at times marked with laughing from the whole courtroom based on Snuka’s answers. The questioning lasted about 1 1/2 hours.

Snuka called Banach dear, hun, ma’am and, toward the end, sister.

In interviews and in testimony, Snuka commonly refers to men as brother. That includes his own defense attorney, Robert Kirwan, because the 72-year-old Snuka said on Friday he has a hard time with names.

One of the longest pauses came when the judge asked Snuka if he knows the name of the current president.

“Do you care who the president is?” the judge prompted.

“I do, dear,” Snuka answered.

The judge asked about the belief that professional wrestling is fake.

“You know what, they always say it’s fake. To me, I don’t think so,” Snuka said.

The wrestlers would be told who would win matches, Snuka continued, and the judge asked how it felt being told he would lose a match.

“It don’t matter,” Snuka said.

Banach asked about Vince McMahon and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Snuka smiled as he described both of them in glowing terms, though he couldn’t remember Johnson’s wrestling name.

At the end the judge thanked Snuka for answering her questions.

“Thank you very much for your kindness. … Thanks again, sister,” he said.

Earlier in the hearing on Friday, when questioning the prosecution’s expert, the judge described one of the questions she’s considering with Snuka’s competency.

Psychiatrist Dr. John O’Brien testified Snuka has essentially been putting on an act, and that his medical records, MRIs and other tests don’t show Snuka as having debilitating brain atrophy.

O’Brien said recent interviews show Snuka can answer questions with reasonable thought, and that his recent test answers show a lack of effort, not a lack of ability to answer.

But Banach said the questions may be ones Snuka has faced hundreds of times, and mused the “act” could be the one Snuka has taken on as a professional wrestler.

“To what extent is it, he’s putting us on, versus it’s what he knows, it’s what he does, it’s who he is … he’s ‘Superfly’ Snuka,” the judge asked.

CATCH UP ON COMPETENCY HEARINGS

Ex-wrestler Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka a ‘shell of a man,’ psychologist testifies

‘Superfly’ Snuka’s alleged incompetency a play to audience, psychiatrist says

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

5K in longtime coach’s memory benefits Easton youth sports

The 5K Run & Walk to Honor Ed McMurtrie will be 9 a.m. May 28 at Heil Park in Easton.

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CDC: 157 pregnant women in U.S. have possible Zika infection

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Forks sends off retiring officer

Forks Township said goodbye to one of its police officers, Officer Greg Marshall, who is retiring after 31 years with the force.

At Thursday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Police Chief Greg Dorney commended Marshall for his dedication to the township, both as an officer and a resident.

Marshall is one of a special group of people who always has the best interest of the community at heart, he said.

“The guys will miss him because he pulled a lot of holiday shifts that they didn’t have to work,” Dorney said, chuckling. “When October and Halloween rolls around, I will always think of Craig Marshall.”

Laughing, Marshall explained that, years ago on Halloween night, he’d accidentally let two dogs into a home they didn’t belong in. Officers had to tranquilize the dogs to get them out, but one was shot in the neck and bled all over the house.

“Finally, we had to call the chief and get authorization to get the house cleaned to the tune of about $2,000,” he said.

Supervisors also said farewell, with Dan Martyak praising Marshall for being a constant community face, smiling and greeting residents.

“Those are the small things that often go unnoticed,” he said. “Thank you for your service.”

Supervisor President John O’Neil thanked Marshall for sticking with the township over the years.

“It’s quite impressive,” O’Neil said. “You don’t see that a lot anymore, people staying in one position or company or township for 31 years.”

Secretary Robert Egolf thanked Marshall personally for his response to emergencies, including a couple involving his family.

“It seems like when we have a 9-1-1 call, who shows up first but Craig?” Egolf said.

“Craig was there. He was right there, and he took care of the situation so well.”

Marshall thanked supervisors and fellow officers for their words and support.

“I am going to miss my job. I really am,” he said.
 

Forks Supervisors: “No” on nuisance vehicle ordinance

Randy Dewalt spent sleepless nights worrying whether Forks Township’s proposed ordinance would affect his retirement years.

A mechanic and enthusiast, Dewalt stores around 12 unregistered vehicles on his property. Some he actively works on at his home garage. But others are “parts cars,” which are used only to provide easy access to rare components, and those don’t make sense to register.

“I put a lot of money out for [these cars],” he said. “That’s what I envisioned my retirement to be.”

Though his vehicles are screened and out of sight from neighbors, Dewalt said language in the proposed ordinance was not clear enough to comfort him or fellow residents he’d spoken with.

He said the ordinance didn’t distinguish between residential nuisances and cars stored in commercial auto shops. The ordinance was also vague on whether vehicles needed to be enclosed or simply out of sight line, he said.

Supervisor Dan Martyak said the ordinance’s intent was to remove unsightly nuisance vehicles, not vehicles that had a purpose or were hidden.

“I’ve never seen them,” Martyak said to Dewalt. “Chief and Tim [Weis], the enforcement, probably didn’t know they were there either until you spilled the beans.”

Dewalt said he worried the ordinance would allow zoning enforcement officers to invade his privacy.

Solicitor Lisa Pereira said any resident could refuse an enforcement officer from entering their property. With probable cause, the officer could return with an administrative search warrant, however.

The ordinance to fight abandoned vehicle nuisances failed 3-1 after Dewalt, vice president Eric Chuss and other residents protested the vague language.

Chuss warned that the ordinance could hurt residents like Dewalt who keep older abandoned vehicles with plans to restore them.

“They’re investments to them,” he said.

Chuss said the struggle was that nuisance cars affected neighbors and property value. He said he’d spoken to a resident whose property value had gone down because of junk cars visible in the neighboring yard.

“It’s very hard to look them in the eye and tell them ‘There’s nothing we can do about it,’” he said.

Since Forks Township doesn’t have an international property maintenance code, the ordinance would have allowed the township to fine residents for their nuisance, or abandoned, vehicles.

Ordinance 342 would have made it illegal for Forks residents to have junk cars visible on their property. Unregistered and un-inspected vehicles that cannot operate would be considered a motor vehicle nuisance if their damage could cause physical harm or harbor animals.

Violators would then have faced a fine that started at $400 plus court costs.
Supervisors said they would continue to review the ordinance’s language and look for a more comprehensive solution.

Group proposes municipal IDs in Reading

A local immigrant-rights group is gearing up to propose municipal IDs in the city of Reading. Make the Road Pennsylvania met on Thursday evening and is recruiting supporters to attend Monday’s city council meeting in hopes of moving the proposal forward.

“We’re proposing establishing a municipal identification for the city of Reading, like it’s been established in 30 cities around the country,” said Adanjesús Marín of Make the Road Pennsylvania.

The group and supporters of the measure say the IDs would help immigrants and senior citizens navigate local services and show who they are.

“As a Reading School board member, that’s important because to pick up their children they need an I.D.,” said Bernardo Carbajal, a member of the Reading School Board.

“In addition, it’s important for people to be able to explain who they are when they’re interacting with city officials and with police,” added Marín.

Critics say those municipalities that disobeying federal immigration laws. Others say they fear the IDs could lead to a database of undocumented immigrants — putting people at risk.

Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz says the group has met with various city council members including herself but there’s still a lot to discuss before the idea moves forward.

“I think since it hasn’t been presented to the council as a body, it’s in the very early stages, it’s not even a piece of legislation at this point,” Goodman-Hinnershitz told 69 News.

Goodman-Hinnershitz says there are still legal matters to sort through, and she has questions about funding the program.

Former Reading mayor Tom McMahon attended the organization’s meeting and says funding might be tough but there could be solutions.
“On the other hand, I think they’re could be some creative ways to have it funded,” said

Marín says the first city to establish municipal IDs was New Haven, Connecticut.