Police descended on the Historic Hotel Bethlehem a little before 8:30 Saturday night after they received a telephone call reporting a fight between gang members during which a gun was brandished.
But as it turned out, there were no gang members, no fight and no gun.
Later that night, police arrested Kevin B. Vinh for calling in the fake report.
Hotel employees told police that Vinh, 27, had just been in the area and had bragged about wanting to “start some s---“ on Main Street, according to an arrest affidavit.
In the affidavit, Officer Brian Quinn makes the point that the area near the Hotel Bethlehem, 437 Main St., is “heavily congested with pedestrian and vehicular traffic for the Christmas season” during this time of year.
Vinh, who lives at 702 Main St., a home sponsored by Step by Step, a non-profit that provides services to people with mental illness, intellectual disabilities and autism, initially denied that he made the call to 911, saying he had been in his room sleeping, police said.
But police ultimately traced the 911 call to Vinh’s cell phone and he admitted to making the false report, police said.
He was charged with false reports and false alarms to agencies of public safety, both misdemeanors. He was arraigned before on-duty District Judge Nancy Matos-Gonzalez and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $35,000 bail.