Kin sue over police killing

Relatives of Odenton man shot by off-duty officer file wrongful-death suit

Murder-suicide in Millersville

Family claims department knew man was hounded by friend's estranged spouse

Anne Arundel

October 28, 2004|By Sarah Schaffer | Sarah Schaffer,SUN STAFF

Relatives of an Odenton man who was killed by an off-duty police officer last Halloween in a murder-suicide have filed a multimillion-dollar wrongful- death lawsuit against the patrolman's estate and the Anne Arundel County Police Department.

The civil suit, filed Tuesday on behalf of Ronald Boliek's mother, father and 9-year-old daughter, says Officer David Keith Frendlich threatened and harassed Boliek for months before shooting Boliek and turning the gun on himself.

The complaint also says that Anne Arundel police knew of the harassment months before the fatal confrontation inside Frendlich's Millersville home and did nothing to stop it.

County officials said they are prepared to defend against the allegations.

According to court documents, Boliek, who had dated Frendlich's estranged wife, Lisa, went to police in July last year to report that the patrolman had threatened him "in and around [Boliek's] home."

Frendlich parked his police cruiser outside Boliek's home on many occasions, though the electrician's Odenton house was not within the officer's patrol district, the lawsuit says. On one occasion, it says, Frendlich left a note inside Boliek's home that said he could "get to" Boliek "any time, any place."

The suit alleges that the county Police Department acted negligently because it "failed to take appropriate action to monitor, supervise and/or discipline Frendlich," saying that "a reasonable and prudent employer would not have ignored ... [his] unfitness for duty."

In all, the Boliek family is seeking compensatory damages from Frendlich's estate and county police on a number of claims, including $10 million for wrongful death, assault and infliction of distress.

A police spokesman declined to comment yesterday about the case and referred questions to County Attorney Linda M. Schuett.

Andrew Murray, a spokesman for the county Office of Law, said yesterday by phone that the county's investigation into the incident has revealed what he believes are facts that will disprove the family's claims.

"There is no evidence, that we've uncovered, to indicate that the Anne Arundel County Police Department had any knowledge of any problems between Officer Frendlich, his wife and/or Mr. Boliek," Murray said.

Furthermore, he added, there is "no evidence" of a conversation between Boliek and Frendlich's supervisor.

Saul McCormick, one of the Boliek family's lawyers, could not be reached yesterday for comment about the suit.

Ronald Boliek's parents, Patricia and Richard Boliek of Chesapeake, Va., and Severn, respectively, could not be reached for comment late yesterday.

According to police at the time, Frendlich, 35, surprised his wife on a Friday evening at the home he shared with her and their two sons.

Police and witnesses said the 10-year patrol veteran emerged from a hiding place in the basement, his service revolver in hand, as the adults and children prepared to depart for a late dinner. Frendlich said nothing before shooting Boliek several times, police said.

Boliek's daughter, then 8, and Frendlich's sons, who were 6 and 5 at the time, witnessed the attack, Boliek family members said. They fled the house with Lisa Frendlich, after which David Frendlich shot himself in the family room, police said.

Police said Frendlich and his wife had been having an "ongoing domestic dispute."

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