Three men were shot early Saturday in Allentown, and police are investigating possible links to a large motorcycle cruise on Friday through Lehigh Valley communities.

City Assistant Chief of Police Charles Roca detailed the violence in a news release Saturday morning.

Police were first called about 11:30 p.m. Friday to the 600 block of North Seventh Street for a large gathering of people and motorcycles blocking traffic, and the group initially dispersed, the release states.

Then at 3:34 a.m. Saturday, police again responded to the 600 block of North Seventh Street for a report of a disturbance with shots fired and found a large group of people. The three victims subsequently arrived at area hospitals for treatment of gunshot wounds that were not believed to be life-threatening, according to police.

“Initial reports indicate that there was an organized motorcycle ‘cruise’ that likely began outside of the City of Allentown, but ultimately ended in the area of N. 7th Street/W. Tilghman Street,” Roca says in the release. “There is information to suggest that some of the people that participated in the motorcycle ‘cruise’ or arrived in the area were affiliated with rival street gangs which resulted in the violence.”

Roca declined to comment on why the motorcyclists were gathering, saying that was part of the ongoing investigation.

Investigators asked anyone with information on the incident to call city detectives at 610-437-7721 or to submit a tip on the Tip411 application available on the City of Allentown Police Department website at

Roca was promoted to assistant chief from captain effective this weekend, following the retirement of Assistant Chief Stephen Vangelo, the city had announced.

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Kurt Bresswein may be reached at

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