Push to close Allentown minimart stalls, DA Zappala weighs in on the issues

PITTSBURGH — A push to try to close a minimart in Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood seems to have stalled.

Allentown neighbors say Adan Market 2 on East Warrington Avenue has been a hotspot for crime. For the last several months, they and city leaders have been calling on the DA to shut the minimart down.

“We’ve had neighbors tell us that there is drugs being run there and sells individual cigarettes, just bad behavior,” said Judy Hackel of Allentown.

On March 3, 2024, three people were shot in front of the minimart. A teenage boy was killed inside. The deadly shooting was the third one there in as many years.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala is the only person who has the authority to close the market. He said the recent violence outside its doors is not enough to close them for good.

“You’d have to show that the business itself was complicit in creating criminal conduct. I don’t know that I can show that,” Zappala said.

Hackel is not giving up.

“I anticipated that that was going to be the answer,” she said.

Hackel has lived in Allentown all her life and sits on the board of the Allentown Community Development Corporation. She said she’s going to ask neighbors not to shop at Adan Market and will push for more police patrols.

“We’re going to talk more to the city police and ask that they watch the building more carefully,” Hackel said. “It’s very frustrating. We are trying so hard to bring this neighborhood up.”

Channel 11′s Antoinette DelBel spoke with the building’s property manager, Lee Bodnar. He said he’d also like to see more officers patrolling that area.

Bodnar said his hands are tied but he has added more lighting to the building since March’s shooting. He also told Channel 11 the market’s owners have put security cameras up outside.

Meantime, Zappala said his task force team will continue to work with the owners in other ways to try to prevent violence there rather than taking extreme measures.

“I’m not a big proponent of government taking business or property,” he said. “I only do it in very rare circumstances.”

DelBel reached out to Councilperson Bob Charland who initially pushed for the store’s closure. His spokesperson sent a statement that read, “The councilperson will follow up with DA Zappala. He has no other comment at this time.”

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