JUNE 5, 2013


On June 2, 2013, 0332 hours (3:32 AM), Bethlehem Police Officers responded to 911 calls of a loud argument and gunshots being fired in the 800 block of Argus Court, City of Bethlehem, NorthamptonCounty.

On arrival, Officers found a Hispanic male, identified as JOSEPH ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ, age 25, laying face down on the ground. RODRIGUEZ had a visible gunshot wound to his head. RODRIGUEZ was transported to St. Lukes University Hospital by City of Bethlehem Paramedics.  He was pronounced deceased by Dr. Mark Porter at 1643 hours (4.43PM) in the Intensive Care Unit.

Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim ruled the cause of death to be gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death was ruled to be Homicide by Coroner Scott Grim.

The investigation continued all day Sunday and throughout Monday. On Monday evening, June 3, 2013, an arrest warrant was issued for LUCAS JOSEPH CABASSA, age 17, for Criminal Homicide relative to the death of JOSEPH ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ.



Multiple addresses in Bethlehem as well as Patterson, New Jersey, where CABASSA had family, were checked. The U.S. Marshal Service became involved in the search for CABASSA at this time. The search for CABASSA continued thru Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

On Tuesday evening, June 4, 2013, LUCAS JOSEPH CABASSA, with his attorney present, surrendered to Det. Christopher Beebe at Bethlehem Police Department Headquarters. CABASSA was processed and arraigned before Northampton County Night Duty Judge Hawk. Since the charge is Criminal Homicide, no bail was set. CABASSA was committed to Northampton County Prison pending court action.

CABASSA, who is 17 and a juvenile, is charged as an adult in this crime. Northampton County Assistant District Attorney Terry Houck authorized the filing of charges as an adult due to the Criminal Homicide charge.

According to court papers filed on Monday evening, CABASSA and two other juveniles were involved in a verbal argument with another juvenile around 0300 hours (3:00 AM) early Sunday morning. That verbal argument turned into a physical fight which injured this juvenile.

At 0330 hours (3:30 AM), the victim, JOSEPH RODRIGUEZ, who is friends with the juvenile who was injured in the earlier fight, observed his friend’s injures. RODRIGUEZ then observed the other two juveniles that fought with his friend. A physical fight between RODRIGUEZ and these two juvenile took place.

As RODRIGUEZ was fighting with the two juveniles who assaulted his friend, CABASSA entered into the fight and shot RODRIGUEZ one time in the head with a handgun. RODRIGUEZ fell immediately to the ground. CABASSA and the involved juveniles all fled the area. Neighbors in the area who heard the altercation and gunshot called 911.

The investigation into JOSEPH RODRIGUEZ’s Homicide is still active and ongoing by Bethlehem Detectives and the Northampton County District Attorney’s Office.

The City of Bethlehem Police Department Criminal Investigative Unit was assisted throughout the investigation by the Departments Forensic Services Unit, Operations Division Patrol Units, Highway Patrol Unit, Special Operations Street Crimes Unit,  Northampton County District Attorney’s Office, Lehigh County Coroner’s Office, and United States Marshal’s Service.

Anyone with any information relative to this investigation is encouraged to contact the Bethlehem Police Department at 610-865-7187,  Bethlehem Detctives at 610-865-7162,  Det. Christopher Beebe at 610-997-7681, or Det/Lt Mark Diluzio at 610-997-7672.



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