The ex-girlfriend of the man accused of leading police on a wild two-hour chase through Philadelphia and New Jersey is speaking out for the first time, claiming the man stalked her and terrorized her for years.
“Robert Ritter took my dignity and my sanity,” said the woman, who did not want to be identified.
The woman was one of many who watched Monday night as a man, who police identified as Ritter, led officers across the Walt Whitman and Ben Franklin bridges as well as various spots in Philly and South Jersey. He was finally captured near the Philadelphia International Airport after a police vehicle bumped his van -- an action called a "precision immobilization technique (PIT) – causing it to flip over.
The woman told NBC10 Ritter is her ex-boyfriend and she has an order of protection against him. Ritter allegedly violated that domestic violence restraining order last month, a week before he was allegedly caught on surveillance video stealing underwear in Brooklawn, a charge that led to Monday night’s chase.
“He’s a menace to society,” the woman said.
The single mother from Washington Township, New Jersey says Ritter threatened to kill her and burn her house down. She also accused him of harassing her every day at work through vulgar text messages. The woman also claims Ritter was caught on video tampering with her home surveillance cameras.
“He would try to cover them with cups,” she said. “And finally he just cut the wire.”
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The woman says she dated Ritter in 2012 but the relationship turned into a nightmare when they broke up after only three weeks. Since then, she says she’s been living in fear of her life and the lives of her two daughters. She’s grateful however for the police officers who arrested him.
“If it wasn’t for them I would still be fearing for my life, locking the doors, hoping I would wake up the next morning,” she said. “For however long he’s going to be locked up, I can live and breathe easy.”