Lehigh Valley

Would-be robbery victims disarm gunman

Three masked men tried to barge into apartment

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Police said a robbery suspect’s would-be victims disarmed their attacker during a failed robbery attempt late Saturday night in Bethlehem.

Police arrested Vincent J. Sanchez after he and two other armed and bandana-wearing suspects tried to force their way into a Chester Road apartment. District Judge Nancy Matos-Gonzalez arraigned the 26-year-old Sunday morning, setting bail at $500,000.

Bethlehem police were dispatched to an apartment in the 1700 block of Chester Road shortly before midnight on Saturday to investigate a report of a fight involving a gun. When officers arrived, they found two men – one of whom was Sanchez – fighting in the stairwell, according to court records.

The three victims told authorities that three armed men wearing masks and bandanas to cover their faces knocked on their apartment door. Sanchez allegedly hit one of the victims in the head and face with his handgun, while the other two robbers tried to force their way into the apartment, according to records.

As the victim’s brother emerged from a bedroom, the two armed men ran, leaving Sanchez to fend for himself. Police said two of the brothers struggled with Sanchez, tumbling down the apartment stairs and crashing into the front door.

Sanchez allegedly tried to point the gun at them, but they managed to wrestle it away and remove the clip. Police said there was a round in the chamber.

Authorities said Sanchez had a red bandana and a black facemask around his neck, a flip-out knife and seven Alprazolam wrapped in aluminum foil in his pocket. And a records search revealed he did not have a license to carry a firearm.

Police charged Sanchez, of the 800 block of East Sixth Street, with two counts each of robbery, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment along with single counts of burglary, simple assault, weapons possession, possession of a controlled substance. He failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 26.

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