By Pamela Lehman
The Morning Call
NAZARETH, Pa. — Daniel J. Preziosi eluded a pair of state constables Monday on his way back to Northampton County Prison, but couldn't slip Old Man Winter.
The 24-year-old Bath man was at a hearing Monday afternoon for a robbery charged and slipped out of the custody of two constables, dashing across the parking lot and climbing several fences in Nazareth.
But, after a frigid night huddled beneath the porch of a Nazareth home, Preziosi crawled out Tuesday morning and walked to the Giant grocery store in Lower Nazareth Township. Employees at the store recognized Preziosi as a wanted man and called police.
Colonial Regional police Sgt. Michael Melinsky said officers arrested Preziosi in the bathroom without incident.
Preziosi told police "It was too damn cold," and hadn't exactly planned his daring escape, according to Nazareth police Chief Thomas Trachta.
"Mother Nature got him in," Trachta said.
Police said there was no evidence anyone had helped Preziosi during his escape. Preziosi's girlfriend, Samantha Tagliaterra, said he hadn't planned to run, but acted impulsively.
"When he gets upset, he doesn't think clearly," a sobbing Tagliaterra said Tuesday morning. "I know that he didn't have this planned and he was going to call police and turn himself in."
Preziosi had been at District Judge John Capobianco's office on Monday afternoon for a hearing on charges that on Oct. 18, he robbed the Wunderler's Market in Bath. Preziosi had been ordered to face trial on the charges and was on his way back to county prison when he somehow slipped his cuffs and ditched his red prison jumpsuit.
Police said Preziosi was wearing just a set of thermal underwear after his escape, but had on a sweat shirt, sweat pants and sneakers at Giant this morning, Melinsky said.
Trachta said the homeowners were likely unaware Preziosi had spent the night there. He said the home was five blocks from the court office. The Giant grocery store is less than a mile away.
Colonial Regional police officer who was in the courtroom for the hearing had left the building before the escape.
Preziosi was charged with one count of escape. He was arraigned this morning before Capobianco and sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $175,000 bail. The judge had a bit of advice for Preziosi as the hearing ended.
"Please use your head on the way out," Capobianco said.
Preziosi was under heavy guard as Nazareth police escorted him to a waiting car.
Preziosi's robbery case was held for court Monday morning. He allegedly robbed Wundeler's Market at 429 E. Main St., Bath on Oct. 18.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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