Police: Victim runs to neighbor for help, dragged back into house

 

Lehigh Township police forced their way into a White Pine Drive home Saturday night to search for a possible assault victim and allegedly found her in the attic wrapped in a blanket.

Now, Blaine Kirchner faces assault charges after allegedly dragging the woman into the house and holding her against her will.

Township police were dispatched to the 3500 block of White Pine Drive shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday to investigate a report of a woman screaming outside of a home. The homeowners told officers that a woman had been banging on the front door, screaming for help, according to court records.

They reported hearing the woman yell, "No, no don't do it" before falling silent. They investigated and found no one outside but found a box of cigarettes outside the front door and a purse and bag in the yard, according to records.

Officers found several medical cards in the purse with the name of the victim along with a pair of woman's slippers, a cup, a can of soda and a notebook leading to a home in the 3400 block of White Pine Drive.

Records listed a Tamaqua address for the victim, and police were unable to contact anyone inside the White Pine Drive house. But the neighbors told officers that the landlord said Kirchner and the victim were living in the home in the 3400 block of White Pine Drive, according to records.

The Northampton County District Attorney's Office directed officers to force their way into the home to search for a possible victim. Firefighters broke open the front door, and police eventually found Kirchner and the victim in an attic bedroom. The 56-year-old was allegedly on top of the victim, who was wrapped in a blanket.

Paramedics provided first aid to the woman, who was bleeding from her mouth and ears, had dried blood on her teeth and suffered a swollen bottom lip. She told police that she ran to the neighbor's house for help, only to have Kirchner allegedly drag her back to the house.

He allegedly strangled her, and the victim told authorities that she pretended to pass out, so he'd let go of her neck. During an interview with police, Kirchner denied ever touching the victim.

Police charged him with strangulation, simple assault, false imprisonment, unlawful restraint and harassment. District Judge Alan Mege arraigned Kirchner Sunday morning, setting bail at $50,000.

Kirchner failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 30.