CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man charged with unlawful restraint and false imprisonment for grabbing a woman by her hair and forcing her into a vehicle pleaded guilty to lesser charges Monday during colloquy court.
The victim told police Eric C. Whitehouse, 52, of DuBois was acting erratically throughout the day on March 12, continually stating to the woman, “we need to leave before they kill us.”
After ordering her to pack a bag, he suddenly grabbed her hair, began dragging her down a flight of stairs in their DuBois apartment building and forced her into a vehicle, according to the affidavit.
As he drove, he reportedly kept his grip on her hair and head and continued to threaten her.
She told investigators, when she looked up and saw they were in the parking lot of a motel, she became afraid if he took her into a hotel room, that he would kill her.
She was able to reach into her purse and dial 911. Dispatch advised the officers that the line was still open and they could hear screaming and sounds indicating an assault.
After receiving a second call from a witness who had seen a male assaulting a female in a green Honda, police were able to locate the vehicle in which they could see Whitehouse driving without having his hands on the steering wheel and shaking his hands at the passenger.
When the vehicle was stopped, the victim “frantically” exited the passenger’s side of the car and fell to the ground. She was crying hysterically and crawling away.
She thanked them for saving her and begged them not to release Whitehouse because she feared he would kill her.
During court Monday, Judge Paul Cherry sentenced Whitehouse to 15 months to five years in state prison for felony driving under the influence of a controlled substance and misdemeanor recklessly endangering another person.
At the victim’s request, Cherry removed a “no contact with the victim” provision from his sentence.