LOWER NAZARETH TWP., Pa. - A man who escaped custody after a court hearing in Northampton County on Monday is now back behind bars, thanks to the cold weather and some alert people.
Daniel Preziosi was found Tuesday morning entering a restroom inside a Giant grocery store at Route 191 and Route 248 in Lower Nazareth Township, said police, who arrested him at 10:56 a.m.
"It was more Mother Nature that got to him than police," said Chief Thomas Trachta, Nazareth Police Dept., adding that Preziosi told officers, "It's too damn cold."
A customer recognized Preziosi in the grocery store and notified employees, who then contacted law enforcement, Trachta said.
Preziosi had been on the run since breaking free from the custody of state constables while being led from his preliminary hearing at a district court in Nazareth on Monday, police said.
Police had been looking into whether someone in a getaway vehicle assisted Preziosi in his escape, but that has been ruled out, said police.
"It appears that the defendant hid under a porch, and due to the weather, he couldn't handle it," said Trachta.
At some point, he was able to get out of his handcuffs and leg shackles and ditch his prison-issued jumpsuit, changing into a sweatsuit and tennis shoes, which he was wearing when he was apprehended, police said.
"He did something very stupid," said Samantha Tagliaterra, Preziosi's girlfriend. "This was very stupid and I don't know why he did it, but I love him and I will be here for him the whole time."
Tagliaterra raced to the court Tuesday to see her boyfriend before he was led away. At this point, police don't believe she was involved in the escape.
"It appears that is was a non-planned event," said Trachta.
Tagliaterra said Preziosi told her he ran because he was depressed that his armed robbery case wasn't going well.
"I know he just got upset," said Tagliaterra. "When he gets upset he doesn't think clearly, and he just acts out of emotion when he gets really upset, and I know that's just what happened."
Preziosi is being held in the armed robbery of the Wunderler Market in Bath in October. He's now also facing an escape charge.
Allentown, PA 18102