Police: West York family's stalker arrested, now free on bail
A West York family lived in fear for the past five months because they were being stalked by a man who racked up at least six PFA violations and wouldn't stop harassing them, according to police allegations.
Between Sept. 1 and Feb. 4, West York Borough Police filed more than 15 police reports regarding Luis Alberto Rivera-Gonzalez's unwanted contact with ex-girlfriend Verna Norris and her underage child, according to charging documents.
Chief Matt Millsaps said on Wednesday that Rivera-Gonzalez was in custody.
He was arraigned Wednesday night at the county's central booking unit on a dozen misdemeanors charges — four counts of stalking and eight counts of harassment, court records state.
Rivera-Gonzalez, 50, now of the 200 block of South Queen Street, was released on $5,000 unsecured bail, meaning he didn't have to post any cash to remain free but could forfeit that amount if he misses court proceedings.
Millsaps said he was told the defendant is being fitted with a GPS-monitoring ankle cuff.
Rivera-Gonzalez lived with Norris and her juvenile son in West York until Norris ended their relationship in August, according to police.
Since Sept. 1, borough officers repeatedly told him to stay away from Norris, but he didn't listen, police said.
Norris obtained a protection from abuse order against Rivera-Gonzalez that's active until November 2023, and court officials have so far filed indirect criminal contempt charges against him at least six times because he has ignored the PFA, according to court records.
He repeatedly tried to communicate with Norris and her child "through a variety of means and methods, which resulted in substantial emotional distress" for the family and their loved ones, charging documents allege.
Rivera-Gonzalez contacted The York Dispatch through Facebook on Monday evening, saying the allegations against him are inaccurate and that this article is unfair.
'Blatantly disregarded': Rivera-Gonzalez "has blatantly disregarded the terms of the PFA … with full knowledge of the legal ramifications," documents allege.
Between Oct. 3 and Jan. 17, Norris received 180 calls believed to have come from him, according to police, who said he used private numbers and blocked numbers to call her, and that he also messaged her on social-media platforms, according to charging documents.
He called her workplace a minimum of once or twice daily, and also called the workplace of one of Norris' older sons, documents state.
Rivera-Gonzalez also contacted Norris' other family members as well as her neighbors, police said, and was spotted on her front porch and driving around her home.
"The defendant's continued actions invade every aspect of Norris's life and leave her, her family, and her coworkers in a constant state of alertness and fear," charging documents state.
Involuntary commitment warrant: In addition to the warrant on the West York stalking charges and the seven alleged PFA violations, Rivera-Gonzalez also has an active mental-health warrant that allows him to be involuntarily committed, charging documents state.
On Thursday morning, Millsaps said he had no information that the involuntary-commitment warrant had been served.
"I'm trying to determine the sequence of events that led to his release," the chief said. "I will look into how an individual who multiple times violated a protection order, and additionally had stalking charges, gets released on an unsecured bail status."
District Judge Ronald Haskell II, who arraigned Rivera-Gonzalez, told The York Dispatch on Thursday that he was aware of the active PFA.
He said he asked sheriff's deputies if there were any outstanding warrants for the man and was told there weren't. Haskell said he was unaware of any involuntary-commitment warrant for the defendant.
The judge imposed a bail condition on the man that prohibits him from having any contact whatsoever with Norris, according to Haskell, who said that if Rivera-Gonzalez violated his bail conditions, "he wouldn't be able to count to his bail number."
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.