Charges: St. Paul man threatened pregnant housekeeper with knife

A large St. Paul man who couldn't fit into a police squad car needed to be transported in an ambulance after being arrested for holding a knife to a pregnant staff member in his apartment building Tuesday, according to a criminal complaint.

James John Loerzel was charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon and another for threats of violence in relation to the incident.

A housekeeper at the St. Paul apartment complex Loerzel lives at reported that he entered the laundry room she was working in Tuesday with a large knife, his finger over his lips to indicate she should be quiet. He put the knife to her stomach area while she cried, saying, "Don't do this, I'm pregnant."

According to the criminal complaint, she was able to speak calmly and grab his hand, turning herself around enough to back out of the room. She later reported shortness of breath and abdominal pain from the incident. 

After Loerzel's arrest the housekeeper correctly identified him in a police lineup, though in an interview with police he said he never threatened anybody. Loerzel did later admit he was carrying a knife to protect himself after a robbery in his building a few days prior, and was in the laundry room at the time the housekeeper reported the incident.

While being transported by police in the ambulance, he threatened to kill the officers and kicked a light on the ceiling of the vehicle, damaging it. 

Loerzel faces seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.