Steven Gregory Keach, 19, of the 200 block of Lincoln Drive, Tamaqua R.D., is in the Carbon County Correctional Facility in lieu of posting $50,000 (10 percent) bail after being charged by Mahoning Township police with simple assault, terroristic threats, and harassment.
According to police the incident involving his arrest began at approx. 5:14 p.m. on Monday, July 7.
Police units from Mahoning, Lehighton, and Franklin Township were dispatched to a report of a female being choked by her ex-boyfriend somewhere along the railroad tracks between the Packerton Yards area in Mahoning Township to behind the Kovatch car dealership in Lehighton.
Police said the "911" caller was a friend of the female.
Chief of Police Kenneth Barnes said that when a Mahoning police officer pulled into the Packerton Yards area along Packerton Hollow Lane the female, who called police, ran towards the officer, they were informed that a female was taken by her ex-boyfriend towards the Lehigh River.
Police said the female who called for help said Keach was attempting to kill his ex-girlfriend. The female further advised the officer to hurry because her friend was being hurt, police said.
Officers on foot began heading towards the area the female witness described. As the Mahoning officer was getting closer he heard a male voice yelling and then clearly heard the words "kill you," Barnes reported.
The Mahoning officer ran towards the area and observed Keach hiding behind bushes. The officer then restrained Keach, said Barnes.
The female victim, 18, of Lehighton, told police that she was walking back home when Keach confronted her, shoved her in a bush, and then grabbed her by the throat telling her she deserved it.
Keach also allegedly asked the female victim what it felt like not to breathe, and then threatened to show her.
The victim reportedly told police that Keach shoved her to the ground, grabbed her by the hair, and began choking her. He also allegedly struck her multiple times in the face and was screaming at her "Why shouldn't I kill you? I should kill you now."
The victim was reportedly able to break free by kicking Keach.
The female victim was taken to Lehighton Hospital for treatment.