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Hearings set for Irwin woman in alleged stalking

| Friday, May 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A 49-year-old North Huntingdon woman is accused of repeatedly stalking a man who had repaired her car when police found her behind his home, dressed in black and carrying binoculars and a roll of tape.

Terri Lynn Gatch of Garnet Lane, Irwin, initially was charged with stalking, harassment and loitering and prowling at night.

The man went to the township police station May 9 at about 10:20 p.m. and told Officer William Sombo that Gatch had come to his workplace and made advances, “which he refused,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The man said Gatch then began leaving letters and notes for him and he discovered she was parking along a street near his home. He told Sombo that he believed Gatch was near his home on May 9, according to the affidavit filed before Jeannette District Judge Joseph DeMarchis.

At about 10:55 that night, Sombo went to the man's home with his K-9, “Colt,” to search the area, according to the affidavit.

“I did find the actor, Terri Lynn Gatch, behind the house, approximately 30 yards to the rear of the house in a small wooded area. (Gatch) was dressed entirely in black with a pair of binoculars and a roll of tape, similar tape to the tape used to post a letter that (the victim) brought to the station when reporting the incident,” Sombo wrote in the affidavit.

Sombo said Gatch admitted she had left the letters and notes.

About 10 hours after her arrest, on May 10, township Officer William Bouldin said he received another telephone call from the alleged victim, who said Gatch had returned to his workplace.

She had left when police arrived, Bouldin said. A short time later, police returned to the scene near Queen of Angels School, and Bouldin said Gatch was found “where she could observe the victim's (workplace).”

Bouldin said he warned Gatch she was not permitted “at or near the victim's residence or place of employment,” and the officers left.

At 12:50 p.m. May 10, the alleged victim reported that someone had thrown something toward him that struck a nearby vehicle.

Bouldin then filed a charge of stalking and harassment against Gatch before North Huntingdon District Judge Douglas Weimer Jr. She was released on $25,000 signature bond.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled June 26 before Weimer and June 27 before DeMarchis.

Gatch could not be reached for comment. Her attorney, Richard Schmizzi of Greensburg, did not return calls seeking comment.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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