'Deadbeat' father arrested

August 31, 1994|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Sun Staff Writer

A man who owes more than $48,000 in support for his five children was arrested last week while paying for a pizza delivered to his Baltimore County home.

Charles Anthony Farace, 43, was arrested without incident Friday by deputies from the Baltimore City sheriff's office on charges that he violated a Howard County court order requiring him to pay child support.

Mr. Farace, who owes $48,135 in support, has paid less than $5,000 to his ex-wife, Joy Goldsmith of Ellicott City, since he was ordered to pay $600 a month in 1986, records say.

Mr. Farace, called Tony, is being held at the Howard County Detention Center on bond of $30,000, the amount of child support he owed when the warrant was issued for his arrest in 1992. He has a Howard Circuit Court hearing scheduled for Sept. 7.

Samuel Marshall, director of Howard's Department of Social Services, said the money owed by Mr. Farace is the record amount for a delinquent parent in the county's history. Before his arrest, he ranked as Maryland's No. 1 deadbeat parent.

"We hope this is a message for some of those other fathers out there," Mr. Marshall said.

Ms. Goldsmith, who remarried in 1991 but uses her maiden name, said she does not hold much hope that her children will see the money that is owed to them. But she said she hopes that the message gets through to her ex-husband this time.

"I hope Tony comes to reality in this," said Ms. Goldsmith, 38. "He can blame everyone he wants to, but all he has to do is look in the mirror. . . . Maybe sitting in jail will open his eyes."

Howard County Sheriff Michael Chiuchiolo said his office developed leads on Mr. Farace's whereabouts as part of a joint investigation with city deputies. Investigators believed Mr. Farace was living in Southwest Baltimore or neighboring sections of Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties.

City deputies were keeping a house in the 6600 block of Tallulah Ave. in Baltimore County, where Mr. Farace was believed to be living, under surveillance Friday evening, when a pizza delivery man went to the house to deliver an order, Sheriff Chiuchiolo said.

"[Mr. Farace] apparently ordered a pizza," Sheriff Chiuchiolo said. "He came out. The deputies recognized him, and they nabbed him."

Authorities came close to arresting Mr. Farace two years ago, when they believed that he was living with a relative in Michigan. Mr. Farace, however, fled again and eluded apprehension.

"Mr. Farace has gone to fairly great lengths to avoid his child-support payments," said Assistant State's Attorney Martin McNamera III, a prosecutor who handled the Farace case. "It is somewhat satisfying for the Howard County sheriff's office to catch up with him."

Sergeant Randall Roby, of the sheriff's office, said officials believe Mr. Farace returned to Maryland during the summer of 1993.

Mr. Farace's case received nationwide attention in March, when the National Enquirer tabloid printed a story that quoted Ms. Goldsmith and urged readers to provide tips that might lead to his whereabouts.

Mr. Farace, who operated a roofing and chimney sweeping company, was divorced from his wife in 1986 after nine years of marriage. Their five children range in ages from 13 to 21. Ms. Goldsmith has three more children from her second marriage.

From the start, Mr. Farace failed to make his payments and prosecutors continually tried to cite him for contempt of court, according to records dating to 1987. When sheriff's deputies tried to serve Mr. Farace with court summons at various addresses, they could not locate him.

Ms. Goldsmith located her ex-husband in 1991, based on a tip from an acquaintance of his. Served with a summons, Mr. Farace appeared in court in March 1991, when he was again ordered to pay $600 in support plus an extra $200 a month to make up for the arrearages.

Mr. Farace paid $1,500 on March 14 to avoid a jail sentence and made payments totaling $4,615 through September 1991, records say.

When no payments followed, prosecutors in January 1992 scheduled a hearing on another contempt charge. Mr. Farace appeared in court the following April, but was granted a postponement so he could obtain documents that he said would prove that he was making payments.

The case was rescheduled, but Mr. Farace failed to appear, although his attorney attended the hearing. The case was again postponed, but when Mr. Farace didn't show up again, a warrant was issued.

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