21 Aug 2014
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Police: Man Beats Wife in Historic District Home

Text message from another woman led to argument, then physical confrontation, police say.

Police: Man Beats Wife in Historic District Home


A 60-year-old Bethlehem man told his wife, “I could kill you right now, bitch,” after she confronted him Saturday night about text messages from another woman, then assaulted her by, among other things, shoving his hand in her mouth, according to court records.

With his wife on the floor, John Michael Westafer was straddling the woman’s chest when their daughter yelled for him to stop and tried to get him off her mother, but he pushed the daughter away, the records say.

Only when the daughter yelled she was calling 911 did Westafer get off his wife and leave their 414 High St. home.

He later admitted to police he had been hiding under a bush in the back yard after they arrived, and gave himself up when his wife was leaving with police, the records say.

According to the records:

The incident occurred around 10pm when the wife confronted Westafer about the text messages she found on his cell phone. He was sleeping on the floor in their “dressing room.” He jumped up, made the threat to kill her and grabbed her by the throat while shoving her to the floor in a hallway, she told police.

She was kicking her feet and screaming while she tried to get away, at one point kicking a wall and causing damage to the drywall. Westafer shoved his hand in her mouth, causing bruising and bleeding to the inside of her lower lip. Police also noticed the wife had a small cut to her left ear.

The daughter came downstairs after hearing the screaming and tried to get her father to stop.

Westafter was charged with terroristic threats, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and harassment. He was arraigned early Sunday by on-duty District Judge Robert Hawke of Lehigh Township and released on $25,000 unsecured bail.

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