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Man considered killing girl, self

  • TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS  Timothy Simcsuk, Palmerton, is escorted out of the office of District Judge William Kissner by Palmerton police officers on Wednesday.
    TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Timothy Simcsuk, Palmerton, is escorted out of the office of District Judge William Kissner by Palmerton police officers on Wednesday.
Published January 09. 2014 05:00PM

A Palmerton man who abducted his 4-year-old daughter last month told police he considered killing the child, and then himself, before he surrendered.

The case sparked a statewide Amber Alert until the child was safely located and the father, Timothy Simcsuk, was taken into custody.

Simcsuk, 25, also said he intends to come back and take the child again as soon as he is released, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

He was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton on a charge of interference with custody of children.

Instead, Simcsuk's hearing was continued. A new hearing date has not been set.

Simcsuk remains incarcerated in Lehigh County Prison in lieu of $250,000 straight bail.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Palmerton patrolman Christopher Ritter:

Ritter was dispatched to the area of Sixth Street and Delaware Avenue at around 6:10 p.m. Dec. 14 for a child abduction.

Upon arrival, Ritter met with the caller, Lisa Fatzinger, the legal guardian and sole caregiver of her 4-year-old granddaughter.

The child's mother is Fatzinger's daughter, Emily Fatzinger.

Custody of the child was originally granted to Emily on June 11, 2010, by the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas.

Scheduled visitation had been granted to the child's biological father, Simcsuk; however, Simcsuk had fled the state to avoid arrest on a bench warrant issued in Carbon County for a probation violation for DUI.

On Oct. 17, Emily Fatzinger granted temporary guardianship of her child to her mother, while she is serving in Northampton County Prison on a drug conviction.

Lisa Fatzinger said she was outside her apartment building with the child, when Simcsuk suddenly appeared unannounced, and began a conversation.

Fatzinger said she was concerned by Simcsuk's sudden appearance, because she was aware of the warrant, as well as prior attempts he had made to interfere with Emily Fatzinger's custody of the child.

Simcsuk asked to be allowed to play in the snow with the child, and Fatzinger attempted to stall him. She told police she tried to take the child inside by saying that the child needed warmer gloves first.

Without warning, Simcsuk then grabbed the child and ran into and through the building, out the front door, and around to the side where his minivan sat parked, with the engine running and sliding side door open.

Fatzinger chased Simcsuk and caught up to him at the van, where he pushed her to the ground and kicked her in the face. He then threw the child in the van and drove off through the alley.

Immediate efforts to locate Simcsuk and the child were unsuccessful, and an Amber Alert was promptly issued.

At around 10:50 p.m., Simcsuk was located at a Holiday Inn Express, just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Quakertown, where he was arrested on the bench warrant by state troopers from the Dublin barracks.

At that time, Simcsuk said he had intended to take the child to Virginia, and that he had considered killing the child, and then himself, before ultimately choosing to surrender.

In a separate incident, Simcsuk in June had taken the child and fled to California during a custody dispute.

Ritter had personally spoken with Simcsuk during that dispute by phone, at which time Simcsuk candidly stated that he would not return to Pennsylvania with the child, as he intended to permanently remove the child from Emily Fatzinger's custody. He said he could not appear in Carbon County Court formally to petition for custody due to his outstanding warrant.

That dispute was resolved when Emily Fatzinger flew to California and located Simcsuk, who willingly relinquished the child.

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