A woman played dead to avoid being killed by her boyfriend after he threw her down a flight of stairs and shoved a rag down her throat, police said.

The woman faked a seizure and collapsed to escape further beating, said Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio, who called the episode an extreme case of domestic violence. She is hospitalized in serious condition.

Bartholomew Palumbo, 25, is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and making terroristic threats. He is jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail. Information on his lawyer wasn't immediately available.

According to police, Palumbo was upset over a text message his girlfriend received from a male friend on Friday night.

He grabbed her throat, slammed her to the floor and repeatedly punched her in the face before throwing her down the basement stairs, police said.

"See what you made me do? Now I'm going to have to kill (you)," he allegedly told the woman.

The woman crawled up the stairs Saturday morning, startling Palumbo, who called an ambulance.

"Oh my god, you're alive," he said, according to the criminal complaint.