E. Manchester Twp. manager on leave after felony charges, officials say

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
East Manchester Township building
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
John A. Pavoncello photo

East Manchester Township's longtime manager, Dave Gentzler, has been placed on administrative leave following his arrest last weekend, township officials said Wednesday, but they wouldn't say whether the leave was paid or unpaid.

Steven H. Gross Jr., chairman of the township's board of supervisors, will make a brief statement about Gentzler at the board meeting Tuesday, said Supervisor Dave Naylor.

"We plan on not discussing it any further after that," Naylor said, adding that it's a personnel matter.

The township's solicitor, Andrew Miller, said much the same: The township won't be commenting on the situation because it's a personnel issue.

Records dealing with the employment status and salary of a government employee are public records under the state's Right-To-Know Law, said Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.

On Wednesday, The York Dispatch submitted a Right-to-Know request to East Manchester Township for the information.

The next supervisors meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the East Manchester Township municipal building, 5080 N. Sherman St. Extended.

Allegations: Gentzler was arrested Sunday after allegedly holding his ex-girlfriend captive and threatening to kill her in an hours-long ordeal, police said.

State police say Gentzler, 61, was at the woman's home in Red Lion on Saturday when she told him she no longer had feelings for him. Their break-up had begun in March, police said, and Gentzler was at her house to talk about it.

Gentzler got angry and confronted the woman in her kitchen, where he pushed her against the wall, tied her hands with zip ties and threatened her with a handgun to force her upstairs to the bedroom, charging documents state.

Gene David Gentzler, who goes by Dave Gentzler, is manager of East Manchester Twp.

He then allegedly tied her ankles to the bedposts, put a rope around her neck and taped her mouth shut before pointing the gun at her stomach and telling her he planned to kill her and then kill himself, police said.

At one point, police said, Gentzler brought in a hammer from another room and told the woman he was going to knock out her teeth.

Police said the woman was able to talk to Gentzler and he eventually untied her from the bedposts. When she thought he was asleep, she escaped and called 911, police said.

Gentzler is charged with the felonies of burglary and aggravated assault, the misdemeanors of unlawful restraint, false imprisonment and simple assault, and summary harassment.

As of Wednesday, he remained in York County Prison on $50,000 bail.

More:Police: E. Manchester Twp. official zip-tied woman, threatened her with gun, hammer

More:E. Manchester Twp. supervisors mum on Gentzler's future following charges