Anne Arundel Co. police officer from Manchester faces charges He is accused of stalking Pa. woman

York County judge to hear case today

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

An Anne Arundel County police officer from Manchester, 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.

Anne Arundel courthouse officials said Edward F. Smith, 32, is charged with harassment by communication and harassment and stalking. He 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 Police Department, is on leave after suffering a job-related injury.

Before that, 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 about 20 threatening phone calls were made to his former girlfriend, Michelle Cummings, at her parents' home in that southwestern York County community.

The family called 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 moved in with her parents in late September or early October after ending a seven-year relationship with Smith, was granted a 10-day protection-from-abuse order by Judge Michael J. Brillhart of the York County Common Pleas Court on Oct. 10, officials said.

In her application, Cummings alleged she had been the victim of physical abuse and that Smith had called her several times threatening 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, York County coordinator for protection orders, who interviewed Cummings. "He called to say if he got into trouble with his Police Department, no one will stop him from getting her."

On Oct. 18, Brillhart extended the restraining order for a year.

Officials in York County 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 food store and threatened her and her family. The man made threatening phone calls four days later, police said.

Police arrested Smith Oct. 18 and charged him with violating the protection order. He was released on $5,000 bond.

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

Brillhart reserved judgment on the first two alleged violations at a hearing Friday after Smith contended he was not notified of the protection order until after he was charged. The hearing has not been rescheduled.

Smith sued the Anne Arundel Police Department in U.S. District Court in Baltimore in March, alleging that a deputy chief had 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 had threatened to kill himself, according to federal court documents.

Pub Date: 12/10/96

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