Police officer held in Pa. in stalking case Bond set at $10,000 for Manchester man on Arundel force

Ex-girlfriend accuses him

She reported receiving many threatening calls

December 11, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- An Anne Arundel County police officer from Manchester, charged with stalking and harassing his ex-girlfriend, was ordered held on $10,000 bail yesterday.

District Justice Margaret L. Klinedinst assigned the case to the York County Common Pleas Court and set bail for Edward F. Smith, 32, after a heated exchange with the defendant in the tiny courtroom.

Smith was being held last night by Penn Township police while family members attempted to raise his bail.

"You're tearing a family apart," Smith shouted at Klinedinst.

"Don't threaten me," the justice warned, ordering that neither Smith nor any family member have direct or indirect contact with his former girlfriend or members of her family.

Michelle L. Cummings, who has a 2-year-old son by Smith, broke off their relationship and moved into her parents' home near Hanover about a month before she called police Oct. 6 to report threatening telephone calls.

At yesterday's preliminary hearing, Cummingssaid she received 15 to 20 calls from Smith on Oct. 6. Once, she handed the phone to Penn Township Officer John J. Ernst, whom the family had called to the home. He testified yesterday that he spoke with a man on the phone and ordered him to stop calling Cummings.

"I tried to get some information, and that's when he called me a ' hick-town wannabe,' " Ernst said.

Cummings could not recall yesterday any specific threat that Smith made to her, but Ernst wrote in an affidavit of probable cause that the man who called her on Oct. 6 had said that "he would get her back for everything that she did to him. "

Cummings also could not remember yesterday the specific purpose or times of Smith's alleged calls. She said she was under stress that day.

"Our relationship was over," she said. "I told him to stop calling."

Under cross-examination by Smith's attorney, Michael Fenton, Ernst said he did not know for certain that the man he spoke with was Smith.

"The lady [Cummings] handed me her portable phone and said, 'It's him, Ed Smith.' "

Ernst said the caller sounded intoxicated and that he did not ask the man where he was at the time of the call.

"I tried to get information, and that's when he called me everything but a police officer," Ernst said.

Smith, who has been on the Anne Arundel force for three years, is on leave after suffering a job-related injury. After charges were filed, Smith turned in his badge and weapon and was placed on administrative duties at the Western District station in Odenton, a police spokesman said.

On Friday, York County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Brillhart reserved a ruling at a contempt-of-court hearing against Smith, who prosecutors say violated terms of a protection-from-abuse order three times.

Brillhart granted a one-year protection order Oct. 18. After Smith said he did not receive notice of the order until after he was charged, the judge said he wanted to hear from the person who served Smith the order before ruling on the contempt charge.

Deputy District Attorney Robert J. Schefter said yesterday that no court date had been set in that case.

Pub Date: 12/11/96

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