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Pa. firefighter to stand trial for harassing dispatcher

He's accused of "repeatedly communicating to cause fear" and prevented emergency callers from accessing the EMS hotline

By Jeremy Sellew
The Valley Independent

BELLE VERNON, Pa. A Belle Vernon Borough firefighter accused of harassing a dispatcher will stand trial after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing Friday before Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso in Monessen.

Thomas Crouse, 27, of 326 Main St., Apt. 5, Belle Vernon was ordered to have no contact with Mon Valley Emergency Medical Services dispatcher Christina Williamson or her family during his appearance before Dalfonso.

Crouse was charged with misdemeanor counts of stalking-repeatedly communicating to cause fear and harassment.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Williamson told Shrader she had received multiple calls from Crouse, adding she previously paid to have her cell phone number changed.

Shrader learned that Williamson had spoken Thursday to Monessen officers Dave Yuhasz and Patrick Schmidt about Crouse allegedly sending her photographs of himself lying on railroad tracks, a picture of a letter on his bed with a picture of his daughter and a letter for Williamson.

Crouse allegedly told Williamson he was going to walk to her residence in Monessen from Belle Vernon.

Williamson told Shrader that Crouse was repeatedly calling the emergency hotline at Mon Valley EMS, preventing emergency callers from accessing the line.

Williamson said she answered seven calls from Crouse. Jerry Jenko, who was also working at the time, answered three calls from Crouse.

Paramedic Terry Foster reportedly told Crouse to stop calling. Foster heard the conversations between Williamson and Crouse, according to the affidavit.

During the calls, Crouse allegedly threatened to go to Williamson's house, threatened to go to Mon Valley EMS while she was working, threatened Williamson's husband and made remarks about her child.

Belle Vernon fire Chief Richard Saxberg said Friday that Crouse remains under suspension from the department pending the outcome of the case.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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