Melissa Amey says she taught her three daughters from an early age how to dial 911. But she never imagined that the important lesson would ultimately help save her entire family.
Amey and her daughters were inside their apartment in Coopersburg, Pa. early Sunday morning when she claims her boyfriend, identified as 48-year-old Miguel Espada, kicked in her kitchen door in a drunken rage.
“Terror, pure terror,” Amey said. “I really feared that he was gonna kill me.”
Amey says Espada held her up against a wall and held a dart at the side of her neck. He then allegedly took out a butcher knife.
“I was trying to call the police,” she said. “He took me by my hair and he pulled me up the steps with the knife in his hand. He said, ‘If you call the police, they will take you out in a body bag before they arrest me.’”
Amey’s 12-year-old daughter Alina says she watched as Espada threatened her mother.
“I was scared for mommy’s life,” the girl said. “I was scared for our lives.”
Alina kept her two younger sisters inside a bedroom and then picked up a cell phone to call 911. Alina says she was so terrified that at first she had trouble dialing.
“I was shaking pretty bad and I hit the wrong button a couple of times,” she said.
But the girl says she managed to calm herself enough to make the critical phone call.
“They asked, ‘Where is your location?’” she said. “I told them our address and then I heard what he [Espada] said. I’m like, ‘Help us!’ And then I hung up.”
Police say Amey managed to break free from Espada and fled the home with her three children. Once Coopersburg Police arrived at the home, Espada allegedly fled to an upstairs bedroom and locked the front door. After a brief standoff, police say they managed to enter the room and arrest Espada.
“It’s great that they did call,” said Chief Daniel Trexler of the Coopersburg Police Department. ‘They did get out of the house and they made it out safe. We were there to take care of the situation.”
Trexler says the outcome could have been very different however if the young girl hadn’t acted so quickly.
“We’re happy that the child picked up the phone and called 911 to get us there in a timely manner,” Trexler said.
“She saved me,” Melissa said. “She saved us. She saved our family. She did the right thing.”
Espada is charged with simple assault, terroristic threats, and other related offenses. He was arraigned and sent to Lehigh County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail.