SALEM — A Boston man who apparently couldn't accept being rejected by a woman he'd met online returned to her Salem apartment twice, the second time climbing a ladder and then hiding in a bathroom early yesterday morning, police said.
Eric Gonzales, 27, had apparently known the woman for about two weeks through Facebook, and arrived at her Harbor Street apartment at around 1 a.m., professing his interest in a relationship, Lt. Conrad Prosniewski told a Salem District Court judge.
The woman told him that she was not interested and sent him on his way.
About two hours later, the woman heard pebbles being tossed against her second-floor window and realized Gonzales was back. She called police, then left to spend the night at a relative's home, concerned about her safety.
Two hours after that call, police got another call, just before 6 a.m. — this time from a witness who reported that two men were using a ladder to get into a second-floor apartment.
The witness told police that Gonzales had actually called out asking for help getting into "his" apartment, according to the police report.
The woman was not inside the apartment, and neither was Gonzales. Police searched through the building and eventually found a locked common bathroom door on the third floor.
Police, who had also surrounded the home, forced their way into the bathroom and found Gonzales inside. He was arrested on charges of breaking and entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony and possession of burglarious tools.
The second man, who may not have realized Gonzales did not live there, was not located.
An agitated Gonzales repeatedly tried to address the court yesterday, yelling "I wasn't in the apartment, I was in the bathroom," and "I was invited," as his court-appointed lawyer tried to shush him.
When Judge Sabita Singh set bail at $500 cash, Gonzales complained. "If I don't come up with $500, how long will I be held?" he asked.
He did not get an answer, but will be back in court on Jan. 9.
It was the second time in as many days that a man has been charged by Salem police with breaking into a woman's home and hiding in a bathroom. On Wednesday afternoon, police found a former Virginia man in a basement bathroom on School Street playing a computer game after his girlfriend kicked him out.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis may be reached at 978-338-2521 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.