Concerns raised over Allentown violence

Feb 20, 2017

Early Saturday morning, there was a burst of violence outside a busy pizza restaurant at Allen and Elmwood. Some are speculating that a hate crime may have occurred.

Credit WBFO File Photo

While the overall details of what happened are generally clear, one man was injured and another hurt when he stepped in to help, after an attack by a group of men. The manager of the pizza restaurant did not want to comment, however patrons at nearby bars shared second-hand bits of information on the incident.

"There has been an increasing problem in that particular area, on the westernmost end of Allen, from Elmwood to Wadsworth," said Allentown Association Vice President Jonathan White.

"The number of bars in the last two decades with liquor licenses has increased threefold, from four to 12. And, in fact, there is a new bar proposed."

White doesn't live far from Allen and says Friday night and Saturday morning were noisy even for the bar area, running well into the morning. He says the police reports aren't yet available on what happened and what further investigation might show.

He calls the pizza operation good neighbor.

"They are a very good business that's trying to operate a restaurant and they do stay open late because there is a crowd for them to serve," said White, adding that the mild weather on a holiday weekend added to the Allentown crowds. 

"It makes it difficult, frankly, for businesses of that type to try and operate without having to deal with violent incidents or unruly behavior."