SUNBURY — A city man claimed he was God, cleansing his pregnant girlfriend's body when he beat her, dragged her around by her hair and dug his fingernails into her back, police said.
George Hyler, 38, of North Fifth Street, is locked up in the Northumberland County Jail after being arrested on felony aggravated assault charges Tuesday by Sunbury police officer Trey Kurtz.
According to police, the woman was reported missing to police on Jan. 23, but Kurtz was able to locate her at a safe house within several days.
The woman said she was OK, but on Feb. 4 she called Kurtz and said she wanted to explain what happened, police said.
The woman told officers that a relationship began between her and Hyler in May. During sexual intercourse, Hyler would choke her and she asked him to stop but he refused, police said.
In August, Hyler accused her of cheating on him and became abusive by clawing her skin with his fingernails and punching her in the face, police said.
According to police, the woman said Hyler punched her so much that both of her eyes swelled shut.
When the woman discovered she was pregnant, she said, Hyler punched her in the stomach, police said.
The abuse continued through the fall, when Hyler began to call himself "God" and not only hit her but clawed at her skin leaving permanent scars, police said.
According to police, The woman missed doctor appointments because Hyler said doctors would question her injuries.
In December, the woman began to go for walks and was seeking a safe place to go, which including looking for beds at Haven Ministries in Sunbury, police said.
On Dec. 27, the woman said she had enough and took refuge in a safe house, police said.
On Tuesday, Sgt. Travis Bremigen and Kurtz arrived at Hyler's home to speak to him, took him into custody and took him to the police station where he admitted to striking the woman, police said.
Hyler will be arraigned in front of Sunbury District Judge Mike Toomey on the felony aggravated assault charges.
Sunbury Police Chief Brad Hare said he was proud of his officer's work.
"I commend our department and I commend Transitions," Hare said. "This was a very serious situation and we were able to get to the woman and make sure she is now safe."