Ex-Senator Theatre owner jailed, accused of harassment, trespassing

Tom Kiefaber 'unruly and inappropriate' at arrest, police say

  • Tom Kiefaber, former owner of the Senator Theatre, in his booking photo Aug. 13 from the Baltimore Police Department.
Tom Kiefaber, former owner of the Senator Theatre, in his booking… (Baltimore City Police Department )
August 13, 2012|By Jill Rosen and Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

Days after operators of Baltimore's Senator Theatre accused former owner Tom Kiefaber of trespassing at the movie house and harassing workers, Kiefaber was arrested Monday at the site.

Police were called to the York Road theater Monday morning where Kiefaber was being "unruly and inappropriate," said Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. He was making threats and refused to leave, Guglielmi said.

Kiefaber was charged with trespassing and taken to Central Booking downtown.

Later Monday, a District Court judge issued a temporary peace order prohibiting Kiefaber from contacting Kathleen Cusack, who operates the Senator along with her father, James "Buzz" Cusack. Cusack previously had a peace order against Kiefaber, but it had expired.

"He stalks the site. He comes here nearly daily and berates our workers. He threatens people," Cusack said Monday afternoon. "This whole thing is horrible."

The Cusacks, who own the Charles Theatre, have operated the Senator since 2010. After the once-grand theater built by Kiefaber's grandfather went into foreclosure in 2009, the city bought it at auction in 2010 and turned over management to the Cusacks.

The Cusacks filed a number of charges against Kiefaber on Saturday in Baltimore City District Court. They accuse him of five instances of trespassing as well as harassment and littering from incidents they say started in mid-July and continued through Friday.

A hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 20.

Kiefaber was not immediately reachable by phone Monday afternoon — he did not answer his phone and the voice mail box was full.

He did, however, address the weekend charges on his Facebook page, which is public.

He admitted to dumping things into an industrial trash bin on the theater's lot — saying he was disposing of backyard debris for someone as a favor. But he said he did nothing else wrong.

"I do cop to the roll off charge, and without permission that's apparently a criminal act," he wrote. "I haven't trespassed, that's absurd."

Kiefaber has written passage after passage on the social media site, lamenting what he considers the demise of the theater. The Cusacks find some of the messages threatening.

Here, in part, is one Kiefaber posted Sunday morning:

"The bevy of overlapping emotions that flow through me on a daily basis, exfoliating from a deep well of frustration and misunderstanding, are compounding as I witness a dear family loved one be torn asunder and into pieces, without anesthesia," he wrote. "The screams haunt my days and nights. All that I can do of late at sunset, is wander the site of the day's carnage, searching for any recognizable bits and pieces of skin and flesh, or chunks of snarled innards, respectfully collecting them each day for proper internment."

Cusack said she's been keeping a log of every time Kiefaber comes to the Senator, which is in the midst of an expansion.



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