Red Lion woman gets jail time for racial slurs
With the exception of the woman who lives in the attic bedroom next door, the Saylor family couldn't be happier in their Red Lion home, where they moved about two years ago.
But that woman — Amanda Warfel — is a big exception, according to matriarch Tanya Saylor.
"It hasn't been easy, I'll tell you that," Saylor said. "My family's a little different from the average. My husband is black and I am white. ... My kids are biracial."
Warfel calls Saylor's children racial epithets and says other inappropriate things to them, Saylor said. Warfel engages in extremely loud sex that only gets louder when the Saylors complain, she said.
"It's been almost two years of it," Saylor said. "It's been pretty terrible. ... She just makes life a living hell. It's got to stop."
Saylor's four children range in age from 9 to 18, and her 15- and 18-year-old daughters share a finished bedroom on the third floor, separated from Warfel's room by a thin wall, according to Saylor.
"They don't sleep well at night," she said of her daughters. "There's constantly inappropriate things that go on in (Warfel's) bedroom."
The family has gotten the girls headphones and a television for the room, to drown out the noise, she said, and court documents indicate at least one of the daughters sleeps in a different room now.
Racial slurs: Asking Warfel politely to be quieter does nothing but antagonize her, according to Saylor.
"She starts calling my children n—s and monkeys, and offers them bananas," Saylor said. "It was a daily thing until she went to prison (last month)."
Saylor said it's been especially hard on her 18-year-old daughter, who has been fighting cancer on and off since she was 10, and who already has a difficult time sleeping because she's ill from her treatments.
"She can't battle cancer in peace," Saylor said. "And her father is terminally ill."
Saylor said she doesn't want people to think she and her family ran to police without first trying to work out the neighbor issue on their own.
"We gave her a full year of trying to do it the right way," by politely talking to her and her grandmother, Saylor said.
Too much exposure: Saylor said what most angers her isn't Warfel's use of racial slurs, because she and her husband have taught their kids not to take such words seriously. It's the exposure her children have had to Warfel's sex life that most deeply disturbs Saylor.
"My kids know more than they should, including my 9-year-old," she said.
State police filed charges of ethnic intimidation, harassment and disorderly conduct against Warfel for a Feb. 28 incident during which charging documents allege Warfel made racist comments to Saylor's 15-year-old daughter, including "monkey" and the "n" word.
Police then filed a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge against Warfel for a March 21 incident in which Warfel allegedly had sex so loudly it caused a dresser and a bed in Saylor's daughters' room to shake, according to charging documents. When one of the teens knocked on the wall and asked Warfel to quiet down because the teen had school the next morning, the noise became louder, police allege.
'Persistent': Documents state that "due to the persistent nature of her actions," Warfel, 25, of 107 W. Gay St., was arrested. Police had also contacted her probation officer, who then filed a probation-violation detainer against Warfel. She is on probation in York County for a felony prison assault.
Her Lancaster County probation officer also filed a violation detainer against Warfel after she incurred new charges while on probation there for drunken driving.
At Warfel's preliminary hearing Tuesday for the Feb. 28 incident, defense attorney Mike Fenton told presiding Common Pleas Judge John H. Fishel that an agreement had been reached in which police would withdraw the ethnic intimidation charge in exchange for Warfel pleading guilty to the summary citations of harassment and disorderly conduct.
Fishel sentenced Warfel to 45 to 90 days in York County Prison, with credit for time served. Warfel has been locked up since March 22.
Fenton said Warfel's York County probation officer is willing to lift the probation-violation detainer, and said he will contact her Lancaster County probation officer to see if that detainer can be lifted as well. If that happens, Warfel can be released from prison.
Second case: The misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge filed March 21 remains active, because the trooper who filed it was sick and couldn't attend Tuesday's hearing.
Fenton described the situation as a back-and-forth between neighbors, and said the Saylors called Warfel names, too.
"In my opinion, there was blame on both sides," he said. Saylor said that's not true.
Fenton said calling someone offensive or racist names isn't enough to prove ethnic intimidation. There must be some sort of malicious intent or action as well, such as damaging property, having physical contact with a victim or threatening a victim, he said.
"The facts of the case do not legally meet the standard for an ethnic intimidation case," Fenton said.
Grateful, proud: Saylor and her two teenage daughters attended Tuesday's hearing, and she expressed gratitude that Fishel sentenced Warfel to more prison time than he was required to. She also said state police have "gone above and beyond" for her family.
Mostly, Saylor said, she's proud of her children for handling the ugliness so well.
"My 9-year-old son still shovels the sidewalk for (Warfel's grandmother) because we don't want her to hurt herself," she said, and her teenage girls are both straight-A honor students.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.