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Man held ex-girfriend and two children captive after hiding in closet, police say

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Sep 03 2013 05:05:49 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 03 2013 05:06:04 PM CDT
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

A man took his ex-girlfriend and two children captive after coming out of a closet in their home where he had been hiding, officials said.

Joshua J. Smith waited 35 to 40 minutes after the woman and children returned to their apartment in the 200 block of West Main Street in Bath, Northampton Co., before revealing himself around 6:45 p.m. Saturday, officials said.

Smith shoved the woman to the ground to keep her from leaving the apartment with younger of the two children -- a 3-year-old girl who is Smith's child -- while the child was in the woman's arms, officials said.

Earlier, the woman prevented Smith from leaving with the two children, officials added.

After about 20 minutes, the older of the two children -- a 5-year-old girl -- sneaked outside and asked a neighbor to call for help, and Smith fled, officials said.

After Smith was caught around 8:15 p.m. at a Rite Aid pharmacy in Nazareth, he admitted to picking the lock to his ex's apartment because he was angry she would not let him see his child, officials said.

Smith, 22, of 303 North 11th St., Easton, was arraigned on charges of burglary, false imprisonment, stalking, domestic violence, harassment and endangering the welfare of children and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $30,000 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. Sept. 12.