Police: Man Fought off Mugging with Prohibited Gun
Victim of attempted robbery who got into shootout with assailants was a convicted criminal and prohibited from owning firearm, police say.
A Bethlehem man who told police that he fended off an April robbery attempt by firing a 9-mm pistol at his assailants was himself a man with a criminal record and not permitted to own a firearm, according to court records.
Thus, Dean Luis Ocasio, 33, is facing a felony weapons charge and two other counts as a result of the incident on the 1200 block of Livingston Street during the early morning hours of April 1. He is in Northampton County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Ocasio, who, according to court papers initially told police that his name was Luis Morales, said two men, one armed with a shotgun, tried to rob him of his necklace and cell phone.
The confrontation then turned into a shootout, with the robber firing at Ocasio and Ocasio firing back with the 9 mm pistol. Apparently, no one was hit, however.
Ocasio nonetheless required some treatment for minor injuries at St. Luke's University Hospital and was then committed to Northampton County Prison on an outstanding warrant.
According to the arrest warrant Occasio pleaded guilty to charges of criminal conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance and carrying a prohibited offensive weapon in 2006.
Thus, under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, Ocasio is not allowed to own a firearm, the court record says.
Police ultimately found the 9 mm handgun and found Ocasio’s fingerprints on it, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Ocasio was charged with persons not to possess firearms, reckless endangerment, providing false identification to law enforcement and tampering with public records. He was arraigned before District Judge Patricia Romig-Passaro on Thursday.