By Chadwick Dolgos
Stowe’s July 13 meeting turned chaotic after a concerned citizen recounted to commissioners an alleged domestic violence incident involving a relative of a township official.
As Valley Street resident Christopher Allen began rehashing the events, he was interrupted by Robin Parrilla, board president, when Allen repeated some of the vulgar language he said he was a witness to during the June 30 incident outside his home.
“You’re done because of your mouth,” Parrilla said. “We have ladies in this room, and you’re mother-effing this and that. This is a public meeting.”
Allen was permitted to continue after apologizing to the board and the eight other people in attendance for his language, at which point he identified the perpetrator as the relative of a Stowe official, who will not be named in this article because no charges have been filed.
“That’s a hell of an accusation,” Parrilla said.
Describing the incident to the board, Allen said he saw a man punch a woman in the face while refusing to let her exit his vehicle.
According to Allen’s testimony, the couple could be heard exchanging yells as the vehicle skidded around the intersections of Valley and Blumling streets with the alleged victim in the passenger seat. After hearing the woman demanding to be let out, Allen said he and some neighbors tried to intervene.
The victim was reportedly able to make her way out of the car and to Allen’s porch, where he said she waited for friends to arrive and pick her up.
Allen said he contacted the police immediately after the incident and again that night, where he was told there was not much that could be done unless Allen or the victim decided to press charges.
“I did call the police about this incident, and they advised me to come here,” Allen told the board.
Pennsylvania law enables police officers to arrest and charge domestic violence perpetrators without the consent of the victim, and without issuing a warrant, if they obtain sufficient evidence.
As of Aug. 3, no charges related to the incident have been filed in court.
Stowe Police Chief Matt Preininger did not respond to multiple calls requesting comment about the incident and its fallout.
A Right To Know request filed by Gazette 2.0 seeking an incident report was denied by township officials on the grounds the case involves an “ongoing investigation.”
Allen shared with Gazette 2.0 pictures of a woman with a bruised cheek in tears on his porch and another that appears to show the same woman in the passenger’s seat of a vehicle with her hand raised protectively above her face.
Allen’s account was corroborated by another witness, who declined to reveal their identity for fear of repercussions.
Parrilla maintained a hostile tone while interacting with Allen during the meeting, at one point telling him, “You’re done. I call the police, you go to jail.”
Other commissioners also pushed back, with Kelly Cropper-Hall suggesting Allen was pursuing a “vendetta” against the public official and the accused relative.
Vice President Darrell Chestnutt, and commissioners Dave Rugh and Cheryl McDermott were absent.
Allen maintains he is new to the neighborhood and had no prior acquaintance with anyone involved in the incident before it happened.
Solicitor Sam Dalfonso ultimately interrupted the tense interaction, saying members of the board should not comment further on the subject.
“This is clearly an ongoing police investigation,” he said. “These guys aren’t going to comment any further, and I’m not going to let them.”
Editor-in-Chief Jamie Wiggan contributed to this report.