BETHLEHEM, Pa. | An Easton man accused of trespassing in a Bethlehem apartment building told the officer who found him whacking the Hill-to-Hill Bridge with a pipe that he was just high and relieving stress.
Michael R. Hankerson, of Ferry Street, faces trespassing and criminal mischief charges in connection to his bizarre visit to a West Third Street apartment building Saturday afternoon. District Judge Richard Yetter arraigned the 30-year-old hours after his arrest, setting bail at $10,000.
Bethlehem police were dispatched to an apartment building in the 500 block of West Third Street shortly after 1:30 p.m. Saturday for a report of an unwanted visitor in the building. The man later identified as Hankerson left the area before officers arrived, but he left his wallet behind, according to court records.
Police said they had arrested Hankerson earlier in the day and charged him with public drunkenness, releasing him to a local hospital.
A witness told police that she spotted Hankerson in a common area and knew he didn’t live in the building. When asked what he was doing, Hankerson allegedly told the resident he was playing “cops and robbers,” according to records. When she asked him who he was looking for, Hankerson reportedly glanced at a nearby newspaper and said, “Charles Schwab.”
A second witness told police that he heard someone trying to open his apartment door. When he answered the door, Hankerson was standing there. The witness picked up Hankerson’s wallet and followed him as he called police.
An officer would find Hankerson on the Hill-to-Hill Bridge allegedly breaking off chunks of concrete with a metal pipe. The Bethlehem Police Department said they received several phone calls from passing motorists about Hankerson, who caused an estimated $500 in damage.
Police said a shirtless Hankerson was carrying a sweatshirt and allegedly admitted to using methamphetamine the previous night. An officer determined he was a danger to himself and others.
Hankerson now faces a felony count of criminal trespass and single counts of disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and public drunkenness. He was released from custody on Monday after a bondsman posted his $10,000 bail. His next court date is a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for Oct. 15.