- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—A North Belle Vernon man is accused of making numerous threatening phone calls to borough police stemming from an alleged domestic incident.

Michael A. Garofalo, 38, of Broad Avenue was arrested Sunday on charges he made more than 20 phone calls to the station and to Westmoreland County 911.

He was arraigned via video by Magisterial District Judge Charles Christner in Rostraver Monday on charges of false alarm to agency of public safety, harassment, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and terroristic threats. He was ordered held in Westmoreland County Prison on $25,000 straight cash bond.

When asked by Christner if he understood the charges and read the criminal complaint, Garofalo scoffed.

“I read the complaint. Just because it’s in a complaint doesn’t mean it’s true,” Garofalo told Christner.

He asked to be released on unsecured bond, but Christner refused.

“Please reconsider,” Garofalo asked. “Now I’m going to lose my job and I can’t provide for my pregnant fiancee and family. I can’t afford that.”

“I’m sorry,” Christner said. “I have my job, too. You’ll be in until your hearing next week unless you can post the bond.”

According to a criminal complaint, Garofalo began calling the police station after his fiancee, Kelly Casoni, was taken into custody for an alleged incident.

While Officer Charles Mutich was speaking with Casoni, Garofalo called the station at 2:49 p.m. He told Officer Colleen Naylor he had questions about Casoni’s arrest and wanted to make it clear that he did not beat up his fiancee, the affidavit states.

Casoni has not been charged.

Naylor told Garofalo that Casoni was most likely going to be taken to the Monessen lockup. Garofalo became enraged and yelled at Naylor, who hung up the phone.

Naylor was forced to turn the ringer off on Casoni’s phone because Garofalo began calling it repeatedly, the complaint states.

At 2:58 p.m., Garofalo called the police station again asking for Naylor’s and Mutich’s badge numbers. He allegedly went on a sexually-explicit rant filled with profanity and used a racial slur aimed at the officers, at which time police hung up on him.

Two minutes later, he called back telling Naylor that he was trying to get information on Casoni’s arrest and couldn’t because he kept getting hung up on. Naylor told him that Mutich was called to the couple’s apartment because police received complaints about yelling. According to the affidavit, Casoni answered the door with a knife and would not put it down.

According to the affidavit, Garofalo told Naylor that he told (Casoni) when someone is at the door and she doesn’t know who it is, she is to take a knife with her. Naylor questioned why she would need to do that on a Sunday afternoon.

Garofalo’s reply was “if you came to my house, I would be waiting for you with a gun and one of us wouldn’t leave alive and it wouldn’t be me,” the affidavit states.

When Naylor asked if he was threatening her Garofalo allegedly said, “It’s my constitutional right to protect my property and if you come onto my property I will shoot you.” Naylor ended the call after Garofalo called the station four additional times in 11 minutes. By this time, Casoni had been released into the care of her mother, Roberta Vitale, police said.

From 3:49 to 4 p.m., Garofalo called the station four additional times. Naylor took the station’s phone off the hook, sending all the calls to the borough office. He called an additional seven times, police said.

Just after 4:30 p.m., Garofalo arrived and began yelling to get into the police station and banged on the door. Naylor contacted Rostraver police for assistance and arrested Garofalo shortly after.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Christner 9 a.m. Monday, according to court records.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at [email protected]

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(c)2015 The Valley Independent (Monessen, Pa.)

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Topics: t000002458,t000027866,t000027911,t000027879

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