Lehigh Valley

Bethlehem man allegedly assaults, threatens to kill girlfriend

Police said they found a blade and letter opener

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - A Northampton County man is facing assault charges after allegedly threatening to kill his girlfriend as the two sat in a car outside a Bethlehem apartment.

Bethlehem police were dispatched to the area of East Fourth and Taylor streets shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday to investigate a disturbance on the street in front of an apartment. The victim, who identified herself as the girlfriend of Jose E. Rentas-Torres, said she was assaulted as they sat in her vehicle on East Fourth Street.

She told officers that the 50-year-old allegedly punched her in the chest and neck, according to court records. Police said they observed scratches and red marks on the victim.

Rentas-Torres then allegedly held up a “pointed weapon” that the victim thought was a knife and said he was going to kill her, according to court records. Police said a search of Rentas-Torres turned up a silver letter opener and a “pointed, edged silver knife blade.”

Authorities charged Rentas-Torres, of the 500 block of Ontario Street, with single counts of simple assault, terroristic threats and harassment. He was arraigned late Wednesday morning by District Judge Robert Hawke, who set bail at $15,000.

As part of his bail conditions, Rentas-Torres was ordered to undergo anger management counseling and a drug and alcohol evaluation. As of Thursday morning, he had yet to post bail, so he remains in Northampton County Prison ahead of a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 21.

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