iPhone

ALLENTOWN, Pa. | Allentown police said they tracked down the man accused of assaulting a maintenance man over a parking space by tracking the victim’s cell phone.

Elias D. Colon-Soto faces robbery and assault charges in connection with the alleged attack Tuesday afternoon in the 600 block of North Penn Street. District Judge Tom Creighton arraigned the 21-year-old hours later, setting bail at $25,000.

Allentown police were dispatched to the rear of a home in 600 block of North Penn Street shortly after 1 p.m. to investigate an assault report. The victim, who’d been hired to do work for the property owner, had cuts and abrasions on his face, his right eye appeared to be swelling and his shirt was torn, according to court records. Police said it was clear he’d been assaulted.

The victim and other contractors reported having frequent issues with the owner of a car, who was reportedly told several times not to park behind the property. On Tuesday, the victim reported finding the car again parked in the spot and decided to take a photo of the car and its license plate, according to court records.

The car’s owner, later identified as Colon-Soto, emerged from a nearby second-floor, Tilghman Street apartment and ran outside, according to records. As the victim tried to snap a photo of the car, Colon-Soto allegedly grabbed the cell phone and punched the man in the head several times.

After the victim fell to the ground, Colon-Soto allegedly hit him several more times and grabbed his wallet before driving away.

Using an app to track iPhones, police said the stolen phone was showing up at the Tilghman Street apartment. The resident, Colon-Soto’s mother, told officers that she saw the altercation but wouldn’t give police her son’s information. Instead, she agreed to call him and ask him return to her apartment.

Colon-Soto did return, and the victim identified him as his alleged attacker.

With permission to search the apartment, police said they found the phone and wallet, minus $260 in cash, hidden in a pair of sweatpants.

Colon-Soto, no confirmable address, now faces two felony counts of robbery, misdemeanor counts of theft, simple assault and receiving stolen property and a summary count of harassment. He failed to post bail and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing.

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