Police officer charged with stalking woman Hearing set today before judge in Pa.

December 10, 1996|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel County police officer accused three times of violating orders to stay away from a former girlfriend in Pennsylvania is to face a York County judge today on charges of stalking and harassing the woman, courthouse officials said.

Edward F. Smith, 32, of Manchester, is charged with harassment by communication, and harassment and stalking.

Smith is to appear before District Justice Margaret L. Klinedinst, who will review the evidence and determine whether the case should be tried in her court or in the higher Court of Common Pleas.

Smith, a three-year veteran of the Anne Arundel department, is on leave after sustaining an injury on the job. Before being injured, Smith had turned in his badge and weapon and was placed on administrative duties at the Western District station in Odenton, a police spokesman said.

Penn Township police charged Smith with harassment Oct. 6 after he allegedly made about 20 threatening phone calls to his former girlfriend, Michelle Cummings, at her parents' home in that southwestern York County community.

The family called local police to their home after they received several threatening calls. An officer answered one of the calls and ordered a man to stop calling. When the calls continued, police charged Smith with harassment.

Cummings, who went to live with her parents in late September or early October after ending a seven-year relationship with Smith, applied for a Protection From Abuse order in York County court Oct. 10, officials said.

In the application, Cummings alleged that she had been the victim of physical abuse and that Smith had called several times to threaten her if she did not drop the charges.

"He was threatening her that 'I hope you die,' and 'I will take you out with me,' " said Stephanie Koicuba, a York County PFA

coordinator who interviewed Cummings. "He called to say if he got into trouble with his police department no one will stop him from getting her."

That day, Common Pleas Court Judge Michael J. Brillhart granted Cummings a 10-day PFA order and on Oct. 18 extended the order for a year.

Local officials have charged Smith with violating the first order three times by calling Cummings and approaching her at a local supermarket and at her job.

Penn Township police said a man approached Cummings and her family Oct. 13 as they shopped at a Weis market and threatened her and her family.

The man made threatening phone calls four days later, police said. They arrested Smith Oct. 18 for allegedly violating the PFA order. He was released on $5,000 bond.

On Thursday, Smith was charged with violating the order a third time by neighboring Hanover police after he visited Cummings at her job just after 9:30 p.m. and refused to leave.

Smith sued the Anne Arundel Police Department in U.S. District Court in Baltimore last March, charging that a deputy chief ordered a SWAT team to take him from his home in handcuffs to North Arundel hospital for a psychiatric evaluation in November 1995.

The incident was spurred by phone calls to his supervisor from Smith's estranged wife and Cummings' warning that the officer threatened to kill himself, according to federal court documents.

Pub Date: 12/10/96

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