East Manchester Twp. manager facing trial in felony kidnapping, assault case

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

East Manchester Township's longtime manager is now facing trial after a district judge forwarded the case to the York County Court of Common Pleas.

Gene David Gentzler, who goes by Dave Gentzler, is accused of binding his ex-girlfriend to her bed with zip ties and rope, pointing a gun at her and threatening to kill her during a several-hour ordeal, according to charging documents.

During Gentzler's preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge John H. Fishel — in which people participated via Zoom videoconferencing — the judge noted that prosecutors dropped a burglary charge against the defendant and added a felony charge of kidnapping.

It was a stipulated hearing, meaning no witnesses were called and no testimony was taken. Instead, the defense stipulated to the allegations in Gentzler's probable-cause affidavit for that hearing only.

Based on the affidavit, Fishel determined enough evidence exists against Gentzler for him to stand trial in York County Court. Fishel set formal county court arraignment for July 2.

"We are anxious to get this case in front of a (county) judge, where we can move toward a final resolution," defense attorney Korey Leslie told The York Dispatch.

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

On unpaid leave: Gentzler, 61, of the 7000 block of Reynolds Mill Road in Springfield Township, is also charged with felony 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.

He is free on $250,000 bail and is being supervised by York County probation officers, according to court records.

Bail conditions also forbid Gentzler from having any contact with his alleged victim and require him to submit to a mental-health evaluation.

The allegations: 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.

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

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.

Duct tape: 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.

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 levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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