Hopewell Twp. man accused of threatening animal-control officer

Christopher Dornblaser
  • Paul Leahy, of Hopewell Township, is accused of threatening an animal control officer.
  • Leahy had a run-in with animal control in 2014 when more than 80 animals were seized from his home.
  • His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 2 in front of District Judge Laura S. Manifold.

A Hopewell Township man is accused of threatening an animal-control officer when she came to his home Oct. 10, according to charging documents filed by state police.

Paul Michael Leahy, 62, of 4389 Hess Road, is charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts each of terroristic threats, simple assault and harassment, according to charging documents.

According to police, animal-control Officer Michelle Klugh went to Leahy's residence about 11:30 a.m. to investigate a dog-law complaint. She told officers that a man she described as looking like an "Elvis Presley impersonator," later identified as Leahy, came up to her car, reached inside, grabbed her arm and allegedly said, "I'm going to kill you," police said.

She told police Leahy said, "I have a double barrel for you," documents state.

Another woman, Margaret Jenkins, told police Leahy allegedly pointed at her and said, "I have a double barrel for you, old hag," documents state. Charging documents do not state who Jenkins is or why she was there. Phone messages left for a state police spokesman for clarification were not returned.

State police troopers arrived and took Leahy into custody. He was arraigned at central booking that evening and was released on supervised bail, with the condition that he have no contact with the victim.

Prior charges: That alleged incident was not the first time Leahy had a run-in with animal-control authorities. In February 2014, 84 animals were taken from Leahy's residence. Leahy, and his girlfriend at the time, Melissa Brodbeck, 34, and her mother, Barbara Brodbeck, 68, were cited with 31 counts of animal cruelty. They were ordered to pay $44,000, plus an additional $350 a day afterward, to Aglyphic Creatures Rescue, the organization that took care of the animals after they were taken in. The three were the first defendants in Pennsylvania ordered to reimburse an animal-rescue organization under the state's cost-of-care law.

The seized animals included 11 horses, a donkey, 13 dogs, two pot-bellied pigs, 15 chickens, 35 chicken peeps, two exotic birds and two cats, Humane Society Police Officer Ame Kessler, who runs ACR, said at the time.

Kessler said she first went to Leahy's home — a farmhouse with a small barn and several outbuildings — on Feb. 19, 2014, and took Reba, a quarter horse suffering from lice, dermatitis, a secondary skin infection and bite wounds.

She returned to Leahy's home Feb. 28, 2014, with a search warrant and a team of rescuers. It took them six hours to remove all the animals, according to Kessler.

She cited Leahy and the Brodbecks with 31 counts each of summary animal cruelty, saying they failed to provide adequate food, water, shelter and veterinary care, and allowed the animals to live in unsanitary conditions.

District Judge John Olwert found the trio guilty of 21 counts each of animal cruelty. He also found Leahy guilty of one count of summary harassment for harassing Kessler at the farm.

Leahy's preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m Nov. 2 in front of District Judge Laura S. Manifold.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.