Written by Daryl Nerl
An Easton man hid in a closet in his ex-girlfriend’s Bath apartment for at least a half-hour Sunday night before he emerged, confronted her and physically prevented her and her two young children from leaving, police said.
Joshua J. Smith, 22, of 303 N. 11th St. admitted to police that he picked the lock on the apartment door and hid to spy on his ex-girlfriend, whom, he said, will not allow him to see their 3-year-old child and “cannot keep her legs shut,” according to a police affidavit.
The woman’s 5-year-old child—who has a different father—managed to escape and seek help, which prompted Smith to flee, said Colonial Regional Police, who caught and apprehended him at the Rite Aid in Nazareth.
Smith, who faces multiple charges including felony false imprisonment and burglary, told arresting Sgt. John Harmon that he emerged from the closet and confronted his girlfriend when he couldn’t stay inside any longer, according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, police were called to the apartment on W. Main Street about 7:30 p.m. Sunday:
- The adult victim told police that she and her two children had returned home about 6 p.m. They had been home for between 30 and 45 minutes when Smith emerged from the closet next to the apartment’s front door, she told police.
- Smith confronted her about their “relationship and other matters” and she told him to leave, which he refused to do. She then tried to leave with the children, but Smith would not allow them to leave, at one point shoving her to the ground while she was holding the 3-year-old.
- Smith did “unlawfully restrain” the woman and her children from leaving the apartment for at least 15 to 20 minutes before the 5-year-old left the apartment, went downstairs and sought help.
- The adult victim supplied police with information and a description of Smith, which enabled his arrest in Nazareth at about 8:15 p.m.
Smith is charged with felony burglary and two felony counts of false imprisonment of a child. He is also charged with three misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person, two counts of endangering the welfare of children, stalking, misdemeanor false imprisonment and two counts of summary harassment.
He was arraigned before on-duty District Judge Patricia Romig-Passaro of Bethlehem and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $30,000 bail.