South Haven man arrested after fleeing home with baby
BY ERIN GUERRA Post-Tribune correspondent January 31, 2014 2:32PM
Philip Hritz has been charged with criminal confinement and domestic battery. | Provided
Updated: March 3, 2014 5:31PM
SOUTH HAVEN — When his wife announced she was leaving him, police say, Philip Hritz took off with their 1-year-old son and threatened to hurt the baby and himself.
Hritz, 28, of South Haven, was arrested during a traffic stop at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday on Airport Road at U.S. 6 in Portage. Porter County, Valparaiso and Portage police were involved in the search.
The 31-year-old victim told police Hritz has been verbally and physically abusive for a long time. At about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, according to police, Hritz allegedly refused to let her leave the house, with a family member, to pick out flowers for her grandmother’s funeral. Instead, he reportedly ordered her to make him lunch and threatened to beat her if she didn’t. That’s when she told him she was leaving him and walked out of the room, according to the police report.
Hritz is accused of following her down the hall and hitting her from behind, knocking her unconscious. She woke as he was physically attempting to throw her out the front door.
She called police from a neighbor’s house and then, as she ran for home to try to get her baby from him, Hritz left the area in his white Oldsmobile Alero, waving at her as he passed, she told police.
Officers allowed the woman to pack a bag and had her moved to a safe location while they looked for Hritz. About 2:35 p.m., he contacted the victim, saying he was at the Valparaiso courthouse. According to police, he threatened to hurt their child and himself if she wouldn’t talk with him. The woman followed him to Portage and called police to tell them where he was.
Hritz was charged with criminal confinement, a Class C felony, domestic battery in the presence of a child and intimidation, both Class D felonies.
He has a previous arrest from May 2012 on a domestic battery charge. He also was arrested in July 2008 on charges of criminal trespass and conversion, then was arrested in November 2008 after he failed to appear at a hearing on those charges.