Lehigh Valley

Two men arrested for beating another for his phone

Allentown police quickly captured both suspects

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Allentown police quickly captured two young men who beat another male to steal his cell phone long before dawn Saturday morning.

Charged were 19-year-old Fuquan Ali Merrill, Jr., and 24-year-old Toraze Marcel Williams. Both defendants reside in the city.

According to police, Merrill and Williams attacked another male at 2nd and Turner streets sometime before 3:30 a.m. Both men punched the victim in the face several times. Their blows broke his nose, detached his retina and bruised his face. 

They also stole the victim's iPhone 5, which police said is worth $500.

At 3:33 a.m.  Saturday, Allentown police officers patrolling in the area of 7th and Linden streets saw a white Acura going the wrong direction on N. 7th, then almost strike a curb as the driver made a U-turn to go south.

At 7th and Hamilton, a front seat passenger got out of the car and began walking west on Hamilton.

Suspecting the driver of the car might be intoxicated, police followed it down to American Parkway. When more patrol cars joined them for back up, police hit their emergency lights and stopped the car in the American Plaza parking lot at American Parkway and Hamilton.

The driver, identified as Williams, made an unsuccessful attempt to flee from the car.

Police charged him with drunk driving and placed him under arrest. 

At the same time, the city's communications center informed police of a robbery that had just occurred at 2nd and Turner streets.

The Acura that Williams was driving matched the description of the car that fled the scene of the robbery and Williams matched the description of one of the robbers.

Other police officers continued searching for the man who got out of the Acura at 7th and Hamilton. They spotted and stopped Merrill, who was walking across the 8th Street Bridge.  By speaking to the robbery victim, police determined that Merrill matched the description of the other robbery suspect.

Operators of an ambulance dispatched to take the injured victim to the hospital stopped at both locations where police had the suspects in custody. The victim identified them as the pair who assaulted him and took his phone.

The victim also identified the call phone found in Williams' possession as the iPhone that had been taken from him.

At police headquarters, Williams admitted participating in the assault and robbery.  He said he struck the suspect at least once and took his phone.

Both men were charged with robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Merrill lives in the 200 block of Railroad Street in Allentown.

Williams lives in the 100 block of N. Bryan Street.

Now men both are in residence in Lehigh County Prison. Bail was set at $100,000 for each defendant.

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