Lehigh Valley

Man allegedly beats woman with bat, leaves her in the woods

The attack happened in August in North Whitehall

N. WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - Authorities allege a Lehigh County man beat a woman with a baseball bat this summer and left her in the woods.

Anthony C. Yerger, of Central Road in Lynn Township, faces aggravated assault and related charges in connection to an alleged assault that occurred this August in a wooded area off Schneck Street in North Whitehall Township. Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Yerger in September, and he was arrested Thursday morning.

District Judge Patricia Engler arraigned the 21-year-old Thursday, setting bail at $250,000.

Pennsylvania State Police began their investigation shortly before 1 a.m. Aug. 23 at Palmerton Hospital in Carbon County. Troopers were called for an assault victim who had just been brought into the emergency room.

The victim, who had visible injuries to her right arm and leg and hands, told authorities that she had been attacked from behind while walking near Spruce Street and was struck several times with a baseball bat. She had been in a car with Yerger just before the attack, according to court records.

The victim sustained a broken right forearm, a broken right hand, bruising and a cut on her leg that required stitches.

State police interviewed Yerger at his New Tripoli apartment about an hour later. He told investigators that the victim had recently stolen from their employer and that he had asked her on a ride to discuss it. Court records do not indicate whether his claims about the victim were accurate.

Yerger said he dropped the victim near the McDonalds on Route 873 in North Whitehall Township after they began arguing and drove home, according to court records.

During a follow-up interview with police, the victim said Yerger had asked her the night before to go hiking. They drove to a remote area and walked into the woods.

She told investigators that Yerger attacked her from behind, choking her with his forearm. When the victim regained consciousness, she said Yerger was standing over her holding a wooden baseball bat that he used to hit her as many as 20 times, according to records.

Yerger reportedly told the victim “it would be worse,” if she “returned to the farm.” Court records do not clarify his comments.

The victim said Yerger left her in the woods and drove away, while she walked to a bank to call for help.

The victim’s boyfriend told police he found a wooden baseball bat outside Yerger’s apartment, which is located at the couple’s address.

Police charged Yerger with aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats and harassment. He failed to post bail and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 24.

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