Houtzdale man to stand trial in strangulation case

A Houtzdale man will stand trial after allegedly strangling his son because he thought he was taking too long to get ready for school.

After a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court in Clearfield County, all charges against Baren Lynn Berg, 33, were held to court. He is charged with felony strangulation, simple assault and harassment in connection with an incident on Dec. 1 in Houtzdale borough. He is incarcerated on $200,000 bail.

In September, Berg was in court to answer for violating a protection from abuse order on three occasions. He was given six months probation at that time.

According to the affidavit of probable cause in the assault case, the boy’s mother reported to police that the boy was assaulted by his father while he was staying with him.

The 9-year-old said he was getting ready for school when Berg reportedly became angry because he was taking too long to brush his hair. Berg began yelling at the child and then choked him with one hand, police said.

Berg allegedly squeezed hard enough to restrict the boy’s breathing.

A trooper was able to see a mark on the child’s neck. The boy said he was crying the entire time and was afraid of his father, according to the report.