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Police Charge Two More in Connection with Bushkill Township Melee

Police say Nicholas Fry, 19, allegedly participated in beating a juvenile male whose front teeth “were knocked from the bone inside his mouth." Kewdy Santa-Mella, 20, allegedly helped Fry buy a half-barrel of beer.

The host of a 19th birthday party that turned violent when a guest was brutally beaten with a baseball bat was charged Wednesday -- the seventh person charged in connection with the July melee.

The charges against Nicholas Steven Fry do not connect him to the bat beating at his Bushkill Township home.

But they say that earlier at the party, he participated in beating a juvenile male whose front teeth “were knocked from the bone inside his mouth.”

It was this beating that led to the bat attack -- an act of revenge carried out by a group of young people who descended upon Fry’s home.

Fry, who at 19 is too young to legally drink alcohol in Pennsylvania, is charged with supplying beer, liquor and mixing ingredients for the party at his 228 E. Mountain Road home. He’s also charged with possessing marijuana.

Guests, including those under 18, were allowed “unfettered access” to the alcohol and marijuana, the records say.

Six other young people -- whose addresses are in Bethlehem, Bath and the townships of Moore, East Allen and South Whitehall -- were arraigned Tuesday in connection with the party.

None of the suspects were identified as gang members, but the records say that among the group that returned to the house, two are from the Latin Kings and one is from the Bloods.

Fry was arraigned Wednesday night by on-duty District Judge Jackie Taschner of Palmer Township.

Unlike the other six suspects, who were either released on unsecured bail or posted their own bail, Fry was jailed. He was committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Meanwhile, the records in Fry’s file identify another person, Kewdy Santa-Mella of Nazareth, as a “co-defendant” who joined Fry in allegedly buying a half-barrel of beer along with a dispensing tap.

A criminal complaint against Santa-Mella, 20, was filed Dec. 7, according to online court records. But his case is listed as “inactive,” meaning he has not been arraigned.

The online records say Santa-Mella is facing charges that include furnishing liquor to minors, corruption of minors and use/possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

In April 2011, Santa-Mella was charged with driving a car involved in an armed robbery in downtown Nazareth. But the charges were withdrawn in July 2011, online records say.

The criminal complaint against Fry, filed by Bushkill Det. Donald Ackerman and Bushkill Officer Peter Dewey, list the following charges:

  • Aggravated assault. The chain of events started when Fry allegedly initiated an unprovoked attacked against a male juvenile. The juvenile’s friend intervened and was taken outside. It was the friend whom Fry and others allegedly beat so badly that his front teeth were dislodged. The beating victim eventually went to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg.
  • Simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and harassment. All related to the beating.
  • Corruption of minors. Relates to the “unfettered access” those under 18 had to alcohol and marijuana.
  • Criminal conspiracy. Concerns Fry and Santa-Mella allegedly buying the half-barrel of beer and placing it in a spot where all guests had easy access to it. Many guests under 21 drank beer, the complaint says.
  • Purchase, etc., of alcoholic beverage by a minor, and sell, furnish liquor, etc., to a minor.
  • Prohibited acts, penalties. Listed under this charge is possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use, possession of a small amount of marijuana with intent to distribute but not sell, distribution of a small amount of marijuana but not for sale, and having marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

The complaint identified the bat-beating victim as Cory Parenti, 19. Parenti witnessed a fight -- separate from the earlier fight that triggered the revenge -- between Fry and another male. The fight was over a female.

The male then hid from Fry, worried that Fry might try to get a gun and use it, “knowing firearms were inside the house,” the complaint said.

By this time, a large group of young people had arrived at Fry’s house, where they wanted to “settle the score,” the complaint says. They first gathered at the Sunoco A Plus Mini Market in Bath.

The complaint lists the names of 13 people who left the mini market for Fry’s house.

Parenti, meanwhile, went outside looking for the male who had fought with Fry and was “greeted” by a baseball bat to the head. Even after Parenti lost consciousness, the attackers continued beating him -- not only with the bat but with punches and kicks.

When the attack was over, Parenti had suffered trauma to his head and upper torso, his left eye was closed and his nose was slanted to the right side.

He was first taken to Easton Hospital but later was transferred to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, where he required surgery and was in the trauma unit for five days, the complaint said.

The damage to his left ear was “beyond repair.” He was left permanently deaf in that ear.

The six people arraigned Tuesday are:

Joseph Sebastia Esteves, 21, Bethlehem; Jeremy Spencer Cummings, 20, and Austin Ryan Cummings, 21, both of Moore Township; Felipe Figueiredo Viana, 20, East Allen Township; Rebecca Christine Gogal, 21, South Whitehall Township, and John Metri, 19, Bath.

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