Police: Emmaus Man Holds Wife Hostage Before Hotel Standoff

Matthew Michael Lerch, 39, held his wife, Jenna Lerch, 30, against her will in their residence at 25. N. Third Street, Emmaus, according to Emmaus Police.

An Emmaus man who was arrested Monday night after barricading himself in a hotel room for six hours apparently wound up at that hotel after holding his wife hostage in their Emmaus home the day before.

Matthew Michael Lerch, 39, was involved in a domestic incident with his wife, Jena Lerch, 30, on Sunday night in what appears to be their former joint home in Emmaus, according to Sgt. Chuck Palmer of the Emmaus Police Department. The address is 25 N. Third Street.

“He had been holding his wife against her will,” said Palmer, who refused to comment on when and how the police became involved in the situation.

Ultimately an arrest warrant was issued for Lerch with a charge of "unlawful restraint," Palmer said. State troopers found Lerch at the Knight’s Inn, Hanover Township (Lehigh County) Monday afternoon and attempted to serve several outstanding Lehigh County arrest warrants, according to state police at Bethlehem.

It was at that point that Lerch locked himself in his hotel room and refused to leave, state police said.

Lerch and his wife were not living together at the time of the Emmaus incident, Palmer said. Emmaus police list the N. Third Street address as the home of Jena Lerch and show The Oxford House in Allentown as the residence of Matthew Lerch.

State police listed the N. Third Street address in Emmaus as that of Matthew Lerch in a press release about the Monday hotel standoff.


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