.

City Teens Charged in Holdup of Lehigh Students

One of two 17-year-old suspects was wearing a Juvenile Probation GPS tracking device when he allegedly committed robbery. Both suspects to be charged as adults.

 

have arrested two 17-year-old boys, one of whom was already wearing a Northampton County Juvenile Probation GPS tracking device, and charged them with the of two students early Monday.

Muhaafiz Ibn Salaam of 712 E. Sixth St. and Shaqur Watts of 522 Atlantic St. – both of whom already have extensive criminal histories – are each being charged as adults with three felony counts of robbery, according to court papers.

According to his arrest affidavit, Salaam was wearing a GPS tracker at the time of the robbery and the device placed him at the scene of the crime – the 600 block of E. Fifth Street – when it happened – about 2:20 a.m. Monday.

Watts allegedly enticed the two victims – Nicholas Aranaw and Elizabeth Scichonski – to meet him with a promise to sell them a flat-screen television and some marijuana for $50, police said.

Instead, when the Lehigh students arrived, three other males grabbed Aranaw from behind and demanded that he give them his money, court papers say.

Aranaw was able to fight off the attackers, but then one of the assailants pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and again demanded money, the victims told police. Somehow, Aranaw and Scichonski were able to flee and call 911 without being hurt or losing any property.

Criminal complaints filed by Det. Bradford E. Jones of the criminal investigation division also say:

  • The Lehigh students encountered Watts in the at 25 E. Morton St. about 1:40 a.m. Surveillance video from the area shows Watts talking to the students outside the store near the front door.
  • They said Watts offered to sell them a flat-screen television and marijuana in exchange for $50, with the stipulation they meet him on the 600 block of E. Fifth Street.
  • The victims were given a cell phone number to call when they arrived. The phone is registered in the name of the father of a third suspect – a 16-year-old from Ridge Street who is a “known associate of Salaam’s.” The same phone was allegedly used to “facilitate a sexual assault” in which Salaam and the 16-year-old are suspects.
  • Watts was identified by Aranaw and easily spotted in the surveillance video thanks to a tattoo of two red lips on his neck.
  • Jones eventually interviewed Watts, who admitted meeting the students at the store and being on the 600 block of E. Fifth Street during the robbery attempt. Elsewhere in the records, Watts claimed he has been attending Nazareth High School.
  • Salaam has broken his court-imposed curfew on numerous occasions, including the night of the robbery, according to his Juvenile Probation officer.
  • Both Salaam and Watts have been arrested on numerous occasions by Bethlehem police for such crimes as aggravated assault, robbery, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

Watts was arraigned Monday by on-duty District Judge John Capobianco of Nazareth and committed to Northampton County Prison after failing to post $75,000 bail.

Salaam was arraigned Tuesday by and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.

The investigation by Bethlehem and Lehigh University Police detectives is ongoing. Anyone with information relative to this investigation is asked to contact the Bethlehem Police Communications Center at 610-865-7187, Det. Brad Jones at 610-865-7146 and/or Det. Jason Fulmer at 610-997-7682.

slyfox August 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM
And these guys are running around our streets free as birds. Lock 'em up & keep them where they need to be. Away from good citizens of this county. This type of behavior makes me ill.
Get a Clue August 15, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Jesus Christ - he's broken his curfew numerous times. Lock him the hell up & throw away the key, or Bethlehem, you're going to lose valuable money with students NOT choosing to attend Lehigh University.
John G. Lewis August 15, 2012 at 10:11 PM
I was "held up" in near the same area, 1992, roughly, during one of my visits to the campus. Nothing much happened, and as I resisted, and the young men were not very serious, it all fell apart... The police, at the time, were very helpful - and even though I believe we spotted one of the perpetrators, I let him go.... Lehigh Un., as I am a graduate, and to an extent a representative, we want to have friendly, and personable, relations with the town, and all in it. But these two comments I have read are very unsympathetic to the young men. And further, I myself am *not certain of the constitutionality, or the ethicy, of men or women wearing collars, as dogs*. Try to be somewhat more carefully before making such comments, ok? More reserved in judgement; no one was injured, after all. - J. G. Lewis '90
Liz Doyle August 16, 2012 at 02:14 AM
How smart were the 2 students to try buying pot and an assumed stolen flat screen TV at 1:30 in the morning from teenagers; then going into a neighborhood that they knew nothing about? Perhaps the students should take a 'street smarts' class this semester.
kevin james August 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM
let them gooo free them!!!!!!!
kevin james August 25, 2012 at 12:33 AM
rite!!!!!!
John G. Lewis August 25, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Kevin James: Let them go free? I don't know if they are guilty of anything, so, yes, maybe. But if they are guilty of an offense, maybe not... We should try to understand other people, and not have an immediate hostile reaction to them. - J. G. Lewis
john gohan October 27, 2012 at 04:02 PM
free mi boyz real shit them dum lehigh students are lien free them asap!!!!!!!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »