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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bethlehem police officer charged with stalking

Bethlehem police officer charged with stalking
The Morning Call by Joe McDonald and Pamela Lehman - July 24, 2008 (

A Bethlehem police officer, after being released from an area hospital, was arrested Wednesday on charges stemming from a conflict earlier in the week with wife. Charles W. Weigold Jr., 49, of Danielsville, is charged with stalking, harassment and terroristic threats and is free after posting $10,000 bail set by District Judge Michael J. Koury Jr. of Wilson. Weigold's status with the Bethlehem Police Department could not be verified Wednesday. At his arraignment Wednesday, Weigold told Koury his position with the department where he has worked for six years was ''questionable.'' Weigold also said he had voluntarily committed himself the previous night to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg. On Tuesday in Northampton County Court, Weigold and his wife, Donna, 47, who lists her address as ''confidential'' in court records, got temporary protection-from-abuse orders against one another. She says Monday her husband jammed a clip into his handgun and told her a ''blood bath'' was imminent; he says she sprayed him in the face with bleach during another argument.

She also filed a court petition Tuesday, claiming her husband called her son numerous times in an attempt to get her to drop the protection order. That led to his arrest Wednesday on the harassment charges. At the arraignment, Weigold used $10,000 in cash that he withdrew from an account in his and his wife's names, which sparked a heated exchange between Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Taschner and defense attorney Bohdan Zelechiwsky of Bethlehem while Koury was out of the courtroom. Taschner said Weigold withdrew the cash Monday and argued it was part of a pattern of ''harassment'' against his wife. Koury disagreed and permitted Weigold to use it to stay out of prison. Koury also ordered Weigold not to have any contact with his wife and required him to wear an electronic GPS monitor. Before the arraignment began, Weigold chatted with a county detective about the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and showed reporters a large tattoo of the twin towers on his leg. Weigold told Koury he had been a sergeant in the New York City Police Department, where he served 20 years. Zelechiwsky said Weigold never had any trouble with the law before and had now found himself in an ''unfortunate situation'' that was ''totally out of character.'' Taschner said events in the Weigold household have been escalating and repeatedly described Weigold as a manipulative person who ''thinks he is smarter than everyone else.''

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