HANOVER TWP., Pa. | Police arrested an unwelcome guest at a Northampton County Wawa after he allegedly stripped down and exposed himself to passing drivers.
An officer with the Colonial Regional Police Department was dispatched to the Wawa at 3300 Schoenersville Road just after 10 a.m. Sunday to investigate a report of a suspicious man. Witnesses said the shirtless visitor was yelling at customers and asking for money, according to the criminal complaint.
An officer arrived to find a man later identified as James E. Bezold standing in the grass near the store’s gas pumps. Authorities said Bethlehem police had given Bezold a “courtesy transport” from an incident in the city in which he was an unwanted guest, according to court records. It’s not clear from the criminal complaint the nature of the Bethlehem incident.
Colonial Regional police said the 31-year-old appeared to be under the influence as he was "acting unusual" and could not stand still. But he did not appear to be a danger to himself and left the property when asked.
The officer said he stuck around to make sure Bezold didn’t return to the Wawa.
Instead, he headed to the Schoenersville Road entrance to the property, where he walked back and forth between the grass and a median. That’s where he allegedly dropped his pants and underwear while standing on the median, exposing himself to passing motorists.
The officer said he could clearly see the now exposed Bezold from about 75 feet away and described “moderate traffic” on Schoenersville Road that morning. Bezold was taken into custody, and police allege they found a container of methamphetamine.
Bezold, currently listed as homeless, faces single counts of indecent exposure, possession of a controlled substance and public drunkenness. District Judge Robert Schlegel arraigned him a few hours later, setting bail at $25,000. The judge allowed for a 10 percent cash option, if approved by pre-trial services.
As a condition of bail, Bezold must refrain from drugs and alcohol and undergo random screenings. He failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 30.