WESTPORT - Westport police arrested a Stamford man early Thursday morning after they say he threatened his former girlfriend with a knife.

Police were called to a house on Compo Road South where the woman works as a nanny for three young children. There they found Philip Speirs, 23, of Stamford, across the street in his parked car.

According to authorities, the woman escaped when she saw Speirs and the knife and told other family members to call the police. They say the children barricaded themselves in a locked bedroom.

Police spent most of the morning combing the area for the knife Speirs used after they say he threw it in the woods near Longshore Park Club, across the street from the home.

Speirs resisted arrest, and police report they had to pepper spray him, sending him to Norwalk Hospital for treatment.

Speirs faces numerous charges including a newly classified home invasion charge, which police call a class-A felony.

"It's a relatively new charge and we believe that there is a mandatory 10-year sentence involved with that," says Westport Police Lt. Tom Casimiro.