Bethlehem man charged with domestic violence
Brian K. Mertz, Sr., of Bethlehem was arrested on domestic violence charges early Friday morning.
City police said the 44-year-old man threatened to create a hostage situation, but that didn't happen.
Just after midnight Friday, Bethlehem police arriving at Mertz's home in the first block of Finady Avenue heard yelling and screaming inside.
Police said Mertz refused to let them in.
He repeatedly told them he would not open the door and threatened to "make this a hostage situation."
To ensure the safety of people inside, police forced their way into the home.
They saw Mertz ushering a woman up the stairs. Police followed them into a second-floor bedroom.
Police removed Mertz from the home and spoke with the woman, who was visibly upset. She said Mertz struck her in the head and face, then placed her in a headlock until she almost lost consciousness.
The woman said that, when Mertz forced her upstaris, he told her: "The cops are not getting into the house."
The woman had a cut on the right side of her forehead and scratches on her nose and chin.
When Mertz was taken to police headquarters and searched, police found a clear plastic baggy containing marijuana in his pocket.
He was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, false imprisonment, recklessly endangering another person, harassment and possession of a small amount of marijuana.
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