Police: York City woman blocked assault victim from escape

Christopher Dornblaser
  • Police say Dawn Stehler stopped Ernest Jones II's girlfriend from escaping after she was assaulted.
  • Stehler also is accused of hiding Jones in her home, according to police.
  • She remains in York County Prison in lieu of $65,000 bail.

A York City woman remains in York County Prison after police say she stopped an assault victim from escaping last week.

York City police say Dawn Melissa Stehler, 33, was there when Ernest Jones II, 33, assaulted a woman inside her home on March 27. When the woman tried to leave, Stehler blocked the exit, according to charging documents.

Stehler, of 124 S. Pine St., Apt. 1, is charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, unlawful restraint and false imprisonment.

Additionally, charges have been filed against Stehler alleging that she hid Jones when he was wanted on the assault charges, police said. She is charged with hindering apprehension for that, documents state.

Jones, of York City, was apprehended by the U.S. Marshals Service on March 31.

Dawn Stehler

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Allegations: Police were sent to York Hospital at about 10 p.m. March 27 for a report of an assault.

At the hospital, a woman, identified as Jones' girlfriend, said that about 45 minutes earlier, Jones had assaulted her, police said.

She went to her residence in the 400 block of Salem Avenue and found Jones there, documents state. Jones grabbed her, threw her across the apartment and told her she needed to pay him $20 to leave, police allege.

Jones kicked and punched her and grabbed her by the hair and shoulders, and he allegedly said, "You're not going anywhere ... you're my property," charging documents state. Jones allegedly choked the woman twice, causing her to lose consciousness once, according to police.

The woman tried to leave the residence on numerous occasions, but Jones wouldn't let her leave, according to court documents.

During the assault, a woman, later identified as Stehler, blocked the woman from leaving the home, police said.

Ernest Jones

Hiding: On March 31, officials went to Stehler's residence to try to find Jones.

When speaking with officials, Stehler said only she and her sister were home, according to court documents. Police say she maintained no one else, including Jones, was there.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, along with York City Police, was allowed to search the residence. Jones was found hiding in a coat closet in Stehler's apartment, documents state.

Stehler remains in York County Prison in lieu of $65,000 bail.

Jones, charged with aggravated assault, strangulation, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint and false imprisonment, was remanded to York County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Stehler's preliminary hearing on the conspiracy to commit aggravated assault charge is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 17 at District Judge Joel N. Toluba's office.

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