A New Freedom woman told trial jurors Thursday her ex-husband "lunged" at her a year ago inside a southern York County courtroom after she testified against him in a criminal case.
Jerome Carl Foltz remains charged with offenses including simple assault and driving under the influence for allegedly driving a riding lawn mower on a New Freedom Road while drunk in June 2013, and for allegedly punching his ex-wife in the head after she followed him and caught up with him.
But that's not the case for which Foltz is standing trial this week in York County Court.
Jurors must decide whether Foltz, 57, of New Freedom, is guilty of witness intimidation and institutional vandalism for an alleged outburst inside the Shrewsbury Township office of District Judge Jeff Joy immediately after his preliminary hearing there on the assault and DUI case.
'Badgering': Susan Foltz took the stand Thursday and told jurors she testified against her ex-husband at his July 11, 2013, preliminary hearing before Joy.
"He was badgering me during my testimony and harassing me before and after," she said, calling her a liar and laughing at her.
Joy was forced to tell him to calm down "a couple times," she said.
At the end of the hearing, Joy determined Jerome Foltz should stand trial on the DUI and assault charges, at which point state constable Stephen Paulus started to lead the defendant to a prisoner holding area connected to the courtroom.
"He lunged at me and called me a f—ing bitch," Susan Foltz testified, and came within a foot or two or her.
She said she tried to scramble over the courtroom's folding chairs to get away, but fell and scattered a number of chairs.
"I was scared," she testified. "I felt like he was trying to intimidate me."
Judge takes stand: Joy also testified Thursday.
He confirmed Jerome Foltz was making comments under his breath during the hearing, but said he couldn't hear exactly what the man was saying.
Joy said he saw the defendant tense up before lunging at Susan Foltz.
"It seemed to me it was pretty obvious he was trying to get to her," Joy said.
Paulus grabbed Jerome Foltz, assisted by a Southern Regional Police officer, according to Joy; two state troopers who had been in the lobby then rushed in because they heard a commotion.
The defendant struggled but eventually was moved to the holding area, at which point "I heard a loud thud," Joy testified.
Drywall damaged: "There was a large hole in the drywall," he said. The damage happened as Paulus pinned the defendant against the wall, according to testimony.
Paulus also testified Jerome Foltz lunged at his ex-wife and yelled at her.
"I ... grabbed his arm and tried to steer him toward the door," the constable said. "He would just not stop screaming and making comments. ... I had to put him against the wall in order to keep control of him.
"He was trying to get past me to get back in the courtroom," Paulus said, despite being handcuffed and wearing leg shackles.
Senior deputy prosecutor RJ Fisher told jurors Jerome Foltz lunged at Susan Foltz either to keep her from testifying against him at trial or to keep her from giving police any more information about him.
But defense attorney George Margetas said his client didn't verbally threaten Susan Foltz and didn't put a hand on her that day.
"My client drinks," Margetas said. "He could be called a drunk."
Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday morning.
Ride-mower case: Southern Regional Police allege Foltz kicked in his ex-wife's door and slashed a door screen with a knife before taking off on a riding mower and heading down Revere Drive in New Freedom on June 17, 2013.
Susan Foltz testified Thursday she had been allowing Foltz to stay at her home temporarily.
After Foltz drove off, she called 911 and followed him in her vehicle, according to police. Foltz got off the mower on North Second Street near Pleasant Avenue, kicked his ex-wife's car a couple of times and punched her in the head, police allege.
When officers arrived, they found Foltz "impaired and uncooperative," and yelling obscenities in the street, police said.
After being handcuffed and put in a police cruiser, Foltz banged his head against the steel cage partition, giving himself a large cut on his nose, according to police.
Officers took Foltz to York Hospital to be treated and to have blood drawn for a blood-alcohol test, but Foltz refused to submit to the blood draw, police said.
While in the emergency room, Foltz yelled racial slurs at hospital staff, according to police.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.