Tuesday, Reading Police Department Chief Richard Tornielli, issued the following statement to brief incidents that occurred on the 4th of July weekend:
“During the extended Independence Day holiday weekend, the Reading Police Department personnel responded to 215 fireworks-related incidents in the City of Reading, which included 16 significant seizures of large aerial fireworks and two seizures of improvised explosive devices.
Firework enforcement efforts were directed at locations and incidents that were assessed to have a significant impact on public safety. As a result of these targeted enforcement details, no injuries or structure fires related to firework incidents were reported to the Reading Police or Fire Departments. In addition to a large deployment of patrol personnel to respond to fireworks incidents, the RPD continued Operation Cease Fire deployments over the holiday weekend in an effort to target gun-related incidents.
On Sunday, July 4, 2021, shortly after 8:00 pm, RPD personnel assigned to patrol an area where gun violence had previously occurred, as part of an Operation Cease Fire Detail attempted to stop a vehicle for traffic violations. Following a brief pursuit, the suspect’s vehicle crashed into the curb and a building at Reed and Washington Streets. At that time, the driver, Shakeem Fenner, 18 years old, immediately tossed a bag containing cocaine from the vehicle as well as a tan and black, Polymer 80, 9mm handgun. Officers took Fenner and the other three occupants of the vehicle into custody without incident. The vehicle was later searched pursuant to a warrant obtained by RPD Vice Investigators. During the vehicle search, a Glock 43x with an extended magazine and bag of methamphetamine was recovered. As a result of the investigation, the following charges have been filed.
1. Day-Vionce Sanders, 28-year-old male: Possession of methamphetamine. Sanders was out on bail relative to other drug charges at the time of this incident.
2. Shakeem Fenner, 18-year-old male: Fleeing and Eluding and traffic offenses, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, and firearms not to be carried without a license.
3. Angel Rivera-Soto, 22-year-old male: Probation violation due to this incident violating the terms of his probation.
4. A 17-year-old Juvenile was charged with firearms not to be carried without a license. This is the third time the juvenile, who is currently on probation, was arrested and charged with firearms crimes since 2019.
During the holiday weekend, officers seized firearms relative to the following incidents:
On July 3, 2021, at 5:27 pm, officers seized a shotgun from Omar Sanabria-Rodríguez, 42 years old, after threatening residents in the 300 block of North 10th Street. Sanabria-Rodriguez is prohibited from possessing firearms due to previous convictions. Sanabria-Rodriguez was charged with Persons not to possess and related charges.
On July 4, 2021, at 4:19 pm, a handgun was seized following threats over a parking space in the 100 block of South 4th Street. Felix Mena-Álvarez was taken into custody and charged with threats and firearms offenses.
On July 4, 2021, at 9:53 pm, Roberto Medina was observed firing a Springfield .45 caliber handgun into the air on the corner of Madison Avenue and Douglass Street. Medina was stopped by officers in possession of the firearm used in the incident. Medina was charged with Reckless Endangering Another Person, Disorderly Conduct, and Discharging a Firearm within the city.
On Sunday, July 4, 2021, at approximately 11:19 pm, the Reading Fire Department EMS personnel requested an emergency response from the Reading Police Department to the 500 block of Cedar Street relative to a large crowd interfering with them providing medical care to an individual. As officers arrived on location, EMS personnel were surrounded by 20-30 persons, many of whom were relatives of the patient, that were preventing them from rendering aid and moving the patient to an ambulance. All on-duty police personnel was required to respond to the scene and clear the crowd in order for the patient to be safely transported to the hospital.
During the extended holiday weekend from Friday, July 3rd through Monday, July 5th, the Reading Police Department responded to 684 calls for service and conducted 48 directed deployments of personnel targeting violent crime and quality of life issues. During that time, only ten UCR Part 1 Crimes* were reported that included three assaults, five thefts, one burglary and one stolen vehicle.
These statistics are a testament to the dedication, professionalism, and hard work demonstrated by the women and men of the Reading Police Department. Our officers, investigators, and supervisors should be commended for the exceptional work performed under very challenging circumstances at times that helped keep the residents and visitors of the City of Reading safe during the Independence Day weekend.”
*UCR Part 1 Crimes are the most serious crimes reported to the FBI by the Reading Police Department, which include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, burglary, theft, and stolen vehicles.