POSTED: 09:33 p.m. HST, May 24, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 09:53 p.m. HST, May 24, 2012
ALLENTOWN, Pa. >> A Hawaii man wanted on a pair of child support warrants in Pennsylvania is behind bars because of a bounty hunter's promise that he would put the man in a movie with Jennifer Aniston.
Joshua Garlathy, 40, arrived from Hawaii at Philadelphia International Airport, where he was arrested Tuesday. He was greeted by police as well as bounty hunter Scott Bernstein and his camera crew, who are filming a TV reality show pilot about deadbeat parents. The unemployed musician was promised the nonexistent role of a guitar-strumming bank robber in a movie called "Banished in Brooklyn."
"He brought all his stuff. He brought his guitar," said Bernstein, who concocted the tale of stardom that lured Garlathy to the East Coast. "The shock and awe in his face speaks volumes."
The Morning Call of Allentown reported that Garlathy owes nearly $43,000 in child support for his now 19-year-old daughter.
Although he approved charging Garlathy, District Attorney Jim Martin said his office wouldn't travel to Hawaii because of the expense. He said his detectives would pick up Garlathy in Pennsylvania or an adjoining state, but told Beth Ann Holderman of Emmaus, Garlathy's former girlfriend and mother of their daughter, that she would have to put up $12,000 for two county detectives to travel to Maui and arrest her ex-boyfriend.
Bernstein said he created a Facebook account pretending to be a movie producer and offered Garlathy the fake movie role. He told Garlathy an associate had seen Garlathy's band play in Hawaii.
Lehigh County officials say Garlathy is the first person in county history to be arrested on a criminal warrant alleging failure to pay child support. He also had a civil bench warrant for not appearing at a 2002 child support conference.
Garlathy appeared before a judge Wednesday to explain why he hasn't paid child support. He said he suffers from arthritis that leaves him unable to work and is on food stamps. The judge ordered Garlathy jailed on the civil bench warrant and set bail.
Another judge ordered him jailed on the criminal charge and set a $25,000 bail. A conviction on the misdemeanor charge of willful failure to pay child support carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.