Police say Dover Twp. woman threatened parkgoers

Jason Addy
York Dispatch

Police say a Dover Township boy was forced to restrain his mother after she backed her truck into his bicycle, attacked a woman and threatened to kill others Friday evening at a local park.

Samantha Eshelman, 35, of Davidsburg Road in the township, faces three misdemeanor charges each of making terroristic threats and reckless endangerment and single misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child, simple assault and disorderly conduct, according to charging documents.

Samantha Eshelman

Eshelman also faces summary charges of harassment and reckless driving after Northern York County Regional Police were dispatched about 8:45 p.m. Friday for a domestic incident near the Dover Township Volunteer Fire Department at 3700 Davidsburg Road.

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When police arrived, officers found Eshelman being held down by her son between several parked cars, screaming profanities at some of the 10 or so people who had gathered in the parking lot, documents state. 

After Eshelman was placed in handcuffs, Eshelman’s son told Northern Regional Officer Andrew Shaffer that he heard his mother was “acting out” and raced to the park on his bicycle to try to calm her down, documents state. 

Witnesses told police that Eshelman pulled into the parking lot with tires “squealing” and began screaming obscenities at several people talking to her daughter, who went to the park to get away from yelling and arguing at their home, according to charging documents. 

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Eshelman began yelling “they’re trying to take my baby” and then hit a woman in the face and threw her to the ground before ripping the shirt of a man who tried to stop her, documents state.

At that point, Eshelman’s son had arrived in the parking lot and was trying to calm his mother, witnesses told police. Eshelman got back in her truck to leave, but her son stood behind it with his bicycle to stop her, documents state.

Quick thinking: Eshelman’s son told police that she then backed into him with the truck, knocking him off his bicycle.

Her son “stated that she did not care that she struck him,” and he said she would have driven off if he had not jumped into the bed of the truck, documents state.

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Witnesses said Eshelman’s son then climbed through the rear window of the truck and took the keys, but Eshelman bit his arm, documents state.

After her son took the keys, Eshelman got out of the vehicle and began screaming again. Eshelman’s son restrained her and kept his mom from hitting her head on the ground until police arrived, documents state. 

Eshelman was transported to central booking and arraigned on the charges, but not before picking up additional charges for shattering a holding-cell window with her head, according to charging documents.

Eshelman was released Friday after posting bail on both sets of charges, according to online court documents.