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Bethlehem man charged for gun threat crime

By Beatrice Epwene, WFMZ.com Reporter, BEpwene@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 01 2014 10:18:14 PM CDT
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ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Edwin Lionel Santana of Bethlehem must report to Adult Probation at the Lehigh County Courthouse within 48 hours.

Santana pled guilty in court Tuesday to disorderly conduct and hazardous/physically offensive charges for a Dec. 2013 incident during which he threatened four men with a gun.

Court documents show that on Dec. 31 2013, at about 10:30 p.m. a Bethlehem man, Jeremy Felce Campano and three friends, called a cab to transport them to the Sands Casino.

Santana was the driver of the cab sent by the Lehigh Valley Transportation Services Inc. to pick the men up.

In the course of the trip a dispute arose over the fare.

Campano said the taxi dispatch told them their fare would be $20 per person, but midway on the trip to the Sands, the cab driver, Santana, demanded $30 instead.

The men asked Santana to take them back home but Santana asked to be paid for the portion of the trip already covered.

The dispute led an irate Santana to pull a black and silver 9mm Smith and Wesson from his waist band.

Court documents show Santana cocked the gun and pointed it at the men who fled and called police.

Officer Douglas A. Malitsch took the call and spotted Santana and his cab in the area of 3000 Mauch Chunk Rd. in Allentown.

Complying with the officer's orders, Santana revealed that the said handgun was on his person.

The officer retrieved the gun and detained Santana in handcuffs then gave him a chance to explain his side of the incident.

Santana said he had an argument with customers over the fare and he pulled the gun after the men became somewhat aggressive before they left his cab, reported Officer Malitsch.

Malitsch said Campano's friends confirmed the facts as related by Campano.

Malitsch then advised the Santana that he was under arrest and transported him to the Pennsylvania State Police-Bethlehem Barracks where the handgun, ammo and statements were logged into evidence.

Court papers show the gun was registered to the Santana and he possessed a valid license to carry a firearm.

Magisterial District Judge, Jake Hammond,  heard the case Tuesday.