A scene of domestic violence on Fillmore Street in South Bethlehem escalated into menacing threats and gunplay early Monday when the alleged victim called her mother, who showed up and brought along an armed friend, according to court records.
The armed friend, Francisco Sanchez, 46, of 419 W. Union Boulevard in Bethlehem, allegedly brandished his weapon, which turned out to be a stolen .38-caliber semi-automatic handgun, and threatened to kill the allegedly abusive boyfriend, according to an arrest affidavit.
The suspect, 22-year-old Doriel A. Ramirez-Castro of 328 Fillmore St., is accused, in another arrest affidavit, of breaking his girlfriend’s nose and left eye socket when he allegedly punched her in the face multiple times outside of his home.
The girlfriend was taken to St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill to be treated, police said.
Investigating Bethlehem police officers were able to review footage taken by a city surveillance camera at Fillmore and E. Third streets, which helped them to unravel what happened at Ramirez-Castro’s home between 2 and 3 a.m.
According to the affidavits:
- At 2:21, Ramirez-Castro and his girlfriend arrived at his home in an Acura sedan. At 2:44, Ramirez-Castro exited his home, opened the passenger side door of the car, where the girlfriend had remained seated, and punched her in the face twice. He then “forcefully” grabbed the victim and pulled her out onto the sidewalk and left her on the ground.
- Sanchez arrived at the scene at 2:51, exiting his car, a white Toyota Camry, and running into 328 Fillmore St. At 2:52, he returned to his car and retrieved a handgun from under the driver’s seat. He then “racked” the gun and pointed it at 328 Fillmore St. At 2:53, he returned to his car and drove away.
- Ramirez-Castro told police that Sanchez punched him in the mouth and head after he arrived. He also said that Sanchez got a gun and threatened to shoot him and his family.
- Sanchez admitted to police that he threatened the residents at Ramirez-Castro’s home and that he didn’t intend to kill anyone, but he did want to scare them. He also said he did not know that the gun was stolen. He said a “friend asked him to hold it for him.”
- Salisbury Township Police had reported the gun stolen from a home there on Jan. 30.
Sanchez was charged with aggravated assault, receiving stolen property, carrying firearms without a license, reckless endangerment, simple assault, terroristic threats, carrying a prohibited offensive weapon, possessing the instrument of a crime and harassment.
Ramirez-Castro was charged with simple assault, reckless endangerment and harassment.
Both were arraigned before District Judge Nancy Matos-Gonzalez and committed to Northampton County Prison. Bail was set at $125,000 for Sanchez and $75,000 for Ramirez-Castro.