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Man locked youngsters in home, threatened to drive SUV with girlfriend inside off Hill to Hill Bridge, police say

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Oct 31 2013 04:26:18 PM CDT
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

A man who was angry about text messages sent to his girlfriend forced her into his SUV and threatened to kill them both by driving off the Hill to Hill Bridge, officials said.

Neyland O. Desouza also attacked the woman in her home in the 400 block of Pawnee Street in Bethlehem around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, about a half-hour after he had returned from driving around with a butcher knife looking for the man who sent his girlfriend the text messages, officials said.

Desouza and his domestic partner began arguing around 8:30 p.m., and when he shoved the woman into his gray Nissan Pathfinder, he locked her four children -- 3-month-old twins, a 2-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl -- inside the home, officials noted.

Desouza finally took the woman back to the home after racing around the block at a high rate of speed because she was worried about the children being left unattended, officials added.

Desouza threatened to kill the woman when he returned to the home, and he took her glasses, which she needed to see, along with her cell phone and car keys, before leaving again, officials said.

The woman called the police using a land line, and when Desouza returned, he ripped the phone cord from the wall, grabbed the woman by the hair, pushed her onto a couch and began choking her, until just before the police arrived, officials said.

Desouza, 35, of 624 Elm St., Bethlehem, was arraigned early Thursday morning on charges of making terroristic threats, child endangerment, unlawful restraint, harassment and assault and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $20,000 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 14.