A homeless woman who told police she has been sleeping in a Historic District office building to stay out of the cold has been charged with criminal trespass and for now will be sleeping inside Northampton County Prison.
Elizabeth Jean Rivera, 42, was found early Thursday “curled up, covered with a blanket and sleeping in a small alcove on the bottom floor of the building” at 79 W. Market St., according to a criminal complaint filed by Bethlehem police Officer Michelle Dologite.
The building, which is just west of Historic Main Street, houses CRB Properties, the complaint says.
Dologite writes that she and another officer were assigned to check 79 W. Market St. for “homeless persons” sleeping in the building. A person connected to CRB Properties had requested extra patrols due to “resident complaints,” Dologite said.
She and the other officer found Rivera – a small woman listed as 4-feet-7 and 90 pounds – at 12:21am. Rivera said she had been “sleeping in the hallways for the past few months to stay out of the cold.”
Rivera was arraigned at 3:30am Thursday by on-duty District Judge Joseph Barner of Lower Nazareth Township on the criminal trespass charge – a level-three felony. She was committed to county prison in lieu of $1,000 bail.
The complaint says Rivera’s bail conditions are showing proof of residency and having pretrial supervision.