A group of young people swimming in the Lehigh River in Bethlehem Township may have been shot at, according to a story published by The Morning Call July 2.
The Steel City section of Lower Saucon Township is on the other side of the river from where the alleged shooting took place, which was near the Bethlehem Township-Freemansburg line, according to The Express-Times.
According to court records cited in the story, Samuel Junior Rodriguez, 16, of the 1300 block of Marvine Street, Bethlehem, was charged as an adult with robbery, terroristic threats, simple assault, aggravated assault, prohibited offensive weapon and reckless endangerment following the July 1 incident.
Rodriguez was observed on the canal towpath loading and cocking a silver gun before a loud crack was heard and water in the river was seen splashing up, according to witness testimony contained in the court records that were cited.
After police were called to the area, Rodriguez reportedly claimed that the weapon was a water gun, that he had thrown it away, and that he was just "messing with" the other teens, and police were unable to find the weapon, according to the article.
The subject of has been a hot topic on Hellertown Patch lately, with about whether firearms should be allowed on the , and if so, condoned.
, about 40 percent of readers (as of July 2) said they are.
A number of gun owners said they carry firearms in public for personal protection, as well as to defend their loved ones in case of an attack.
And some questioned whether the seclusion of a nature trail could make law-abiding citizens vulnerable targets for would-be criminals.
"If you think you can not be the victim of a crime on the Saucon Rail Trail, it is time to open your eyes," wrote Patch reader Tom C. "Can you defend yourself? Will you be able to get off a 911 call? How long will it take for Police to arrive? The national average is 6 minutes. Think about fighting someone off for six minutes. I pray that a good Samaritan with a gun happens along to save your life."
Following the weekend incident, Rodriguez--who also allegedly stole a bicycle from one of the swimmers--was committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail, according to The Morning Call.