E. Manchester Twp. manager released on $250K bail in felony assault case
Protesters rally outside of Gov. Wolf’s home in Mount Wolf, Saturday, May 2, 2020. York Dispatch
East Manchester Township's longtime manager is now free on $250,000 bail and is being supervised by York County probation officers, according to court records.
He is accused of binding his ex-girlfriend to her bed with zip ties, pointing a gun at her and threatening to kill her during a several-hour ordeal, according to charging documents.
Gene David Gentzler, who goes by Dave Gentzler, was in York County Prison from May 3 until Monday, when he posted bail and was released, according to prison records.
He had originally been locked up on $50,000 bail after being arraigned at the county's central booking unit, but the York County District Attorney's Office on Friday filed a motion to modify or revoke Gentzler's bail.
At a bail hearing Monday, presiding District Judge John H. Fishel increased Gentzler's bail to $250,000, ordered that Gentzler undergo a mental-health evaluation, have no contact with the alleged victim and that Gentzler's release be supervised by probation officers, according to Fishel's office.
Unaddressed 'issues'? The bail motion filed by chief deputy prosecutor Chuck Murphy requested Gentzler remain in prison because he allegedly threatened his ex with murder-suicide and because supervised bail can't guarantee the woman's safety — even with electronic monitoring, according to the motion.
"According to family members, Defendant has mental health issues that have gone and continue to go unaddressed," the motion states. "Family members of the Defendant have also raised concerns that if he were to be released from incarceration he would cause harm to himself."
The motion states that prosecutors don't believe "any bail conditions exist that can ensure the safety of the victim or the community."
Attached to the motion is a letter to prosecutors from the York County Adult Probation Office stating:
"Our department cannot guarantee community safety as we are not a 24/7 operation. Placing an individual on supervised bail to protect a victim provides a faux assurance that the victim will remain safe."
Gentzler's defense attorney, Korey Leslie, said his client was relieved bail wasn't revoked.
"Mr. Gentzler will abide by the conditions of his bail as set by Judge Fishel," Leslie told The York Dispatch. "He does assert his innocence and looks forward to having these allegations fully vetted in court."
The background: Gentzler, 61, of the 7000 block of Reynolds Mill Road in Springfield Township, is charged with the felonies of burglary and aggravated assault, the misdemeanors of unlawful restraint, false imprisonment and simple assault, and summary harassment.
He is on unpaid administrative leave from his job, according to East Manchester Township Supervisor Chair Steven H. Gross Jr.
In addition to being township manager, Gentzler also serves in other township positions, including township secretary and treasurer and director of public works, according to East Manchester's website.
State police said Gentzler was at the Red Lion home of his girlfriend of several months in the 400 block of North Main Street about 7 p.m. May 2. The two were sitting in her yard, where she told him she no longer had feelings for him, according to charging documents.
The breakup between the two started in March, and Gentzler had gone there so they could talk about it, police said.
Gentzler became angry, said something to the effect of "what am I even doing here" and walked into her home, according to charging documents. The woman assumed he was walking through her home to leave, and she followed him inside, police said.
Confronted in kitchen: But Gentzler confronted her in her kitchen, pushed her against a counter, bound her wrists with zip ties, pointed a handgun at her and forced her upstairs to the master bedroom, charging documents allege.
He forced her onto the bed and zip-tied each of her ankles to the bedposts, police allege.
Gentzler "then put a rope around her neck and tied her to the headboard and put duct tape around her mouth and head," charging documents state.
"Gentzler told (her) he planned to kill her and then himself because she ruined his life," documents state. He allegedly told her he would kill her if she spoke, then pointed his handgun at her stomach and threatened to shoot her, documents allege.
He left the bedroom and returned with a hammer, telling the woman he was going to knock out all of her teeth, charging documents allege.
Pointed gun? Gentzler called the woman names while waving around the gun and pointing it at her, according to documents.
Over the course of several hours that went into the next morning, the woman was able to talk to Gentzler, and he eventually removed the zip ties that held her to the bed, according to charging documents.
When the woman thought Gentzler had fallen asleep, she left the house and called police, documents state.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.