Southwestern officer's domestic assault case heads to trial
A Southwestern Regional police officer accused of assaulting his wife is one step closer to trial, but is now facing fewer charges.
Bryn Lindenmuth waived his right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Keith Albright on Sept. 6, according to court records. That means charges of simple assault and harassment were forwarded to York County Court.
A charge of false imprisonment was withdrawn prior to his waiver, court records state.
"After further investigation, our office determined that the facts and circumstances (of the case) did not support the charge of false imprisonment," said Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office.
Defense attorney Chris Ferro described the charge as unsubstantiated.
"As more facts are established I'm confident that this will be resolved fairly, and a good officer will be back serving and protecting the public with honor, as he has for the past many years," Ferro said.
The officer's formal court arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 14, court records state. He remains free on unsecured bail.
Lindenmuth, 34, was named York County's 2015 Officer of the Year.
The allegations: According to charging documents, he physically assaulted Kalina Lindenmuth in their West Manchester Township home July 17.
She returned home from a cookout the night before, after which Bryn Lindenmuth took her keys and yelled at her, documents state.
He followed her inside while still yelling, then took her cellphone, ripped her tank top and bra, scratched her and tore apart her sandals, charging documents allege. He also ripped up photos of the two of them together, West Manchester Township Police have said.
Bryn Lindenmuth pushed over a recliner while his wife was sitting in it, pushed her and tried to throw her through a sliding-glass door, documents state.
"Bryn used substantial force using his elbow and jammed it down hard on her shoulder in an attempt to knock her down," documents state.
Ran to neighbor: Kalina Lindenmuth tried to get back inside their home, but her husband "kept blocking her path and grabbed her arms and started to force her backward to possibly fall down the steps," documents state.
She was able to run to a neighbor's home, where she called 911, police said. They allege the domestic incident lasted from about 11 p.m. until 3 a.m.
She told officers she was scared of what her husband might do if she called police, documents state. An officer helped her obtain an emergency PFA that night, according to documents. A few days later, Kalina Lindenmuth later withdrew her PFA request.
Attorney Penny Ayers, who represented Kalina Lindenmuth, has said her client was happy to put the matter to rest and was looking forward to working on taking care of her family.
Still on leave: On Thursday, Southwestern Regional Police Chief Greg Bean said Bryn Lindenmuth has not returned to work.
"Officer Lindenmuth is on unpaid leave from the department until the criminal process is complete with the District Attorney's Office, and also until our own internal review is done," Bean said.
Southwestern Regional's police board will make a decision about any disciplinary action, the chief has said.
About the officer: Bryn Lindenmuth was named 2015 York County Officer of the Year in May by the York County Police Heritage Museum.
He has been with Southwestern Regional Police for 11 years; during that time he received 21 awards or commendations.
He also is a drug-recognition expert and a member of the York County Drug Task Force, serving as a liaison for his department, officials have said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.