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Coroner rules on deadly stabbing at Allentown hookah lounge

Synergy Hookah Allentown
Jason Addy
A 29-year-old Bethlehem man was fatally stabbed early Sunday morning at Synergy Hookah Lounge in Allentown, police said.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Lehigh County Coroner Daniel Buglio on Tuesday ruled the deadly stabbing of a Bethlehem man at an Allentown hookah lounge was a homicide.

Kevin Tarafa, 29, was stabbed around 2:55 a.m. Sunday at Synergy Hookah Lounge at 1522 Union Boulevard, Allentown police said.

  • Kevin Tarafa's death was ruled a homicide Tuesday by Lehigh County Coroner Daniel Buglio
  • Police say Isiah Yeager, 23, of Allentown, stabbed Tarafa inside Synergy Hookah Lounge in Allentown
  • Yeager is facing one count of criminal homicide, according to court records

Tarafa was pronounced dead at 4:45 a.m., several hundred feet away in the 1600 block of East Greenleaf Street, according to authorities.
The coroner ruled Tarafa’s death a homicide Tuesday after an autopsy showed Tarafa suffered multiple stab wounds.

A witness told police he saw the two men arguing inside Synergy before Yeager twice stabbed Tarafa with a knife.
Criminal complaint filed against Isiah Yeager

Isiah Yeager, 23, of Allentown, was arrested Sunday and charged with a single count of criminal homicide. He is being held at the Lehigh County Jail after District Judge Michael D’Amore denied bail, court records show.

Multiple stab wounds

Allentown police were called around 3 a.m. Sunday to a fight at the hookah lounge, according to the criminal complaint filed against Yeager.

Officers searched the area and found Tarafa about a block away, where he was unresponsive and bleeding from his chest, police said in the complaint. Tarafa was pronounced dead after paramedics arrived to treat him.

A witness told police he saw the two men arguing inside Synergy before Yeager twice stabbed Tarafa with a knife, the criminal complaint states.

Tarafa walked out of the lounge toward his car parked in the 1600 block of East Greenleaf Street and told the witness he was stabbed by his ex-girlfriend’s brother before he died, according to court records.

The criminal complaint says Tarafa previously dated Yeager’s sister.

Synergy to be evicted

The hookah lounge is set to be pushed out of its Union Boulevard location within a few weeks.

Buzzy Labriola, who owns the building that houses Synergy Hookah Lounge, said Monday that the lounge’s lease expired at the end of May, but he allowed it to stay until July 2 while searching for a new location.

He told LehighValleyNews.com on Monday he wants the business to move out even sooner after Sunday’s fatal stabbing.

“Tomorrow, I’m going to the magistrate to speed it up,” Labriola said Monday. “This is the last straw. I want them out.”

Anyone with information about Sunday's killing is asked to call the Allentown Police Department criminal investigations division at 610-437-7121 or the department's Complaint Desk at 610-437-7753.

Tips may also be submitted through the Tip411 app on the Allentown police website. Police say callers and tipsters may provide information anonymously.