Judge hikes bail after defendant fails to turn in weapons and confronts victim
By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times
A Pocopson Township man, who works as a City of Chester police officer and a member of its SWAT team, faces charges that include aggravated assault, authorities said Monday.
Ernest A. Manerchia, 57, is accused of slapping, beating and strangling his wife during a Nov. 11 altercation, said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. The victim managed to escape by kicking her husband in the groin and hiding in a bathroom, the criminal complaint said.
According to the complaint, state police interviewed the victim on Thursday, and she shared photos dated Nov. 12 and Nov. 16 that showed marks and bruises on her face, neck and head as well as a patch of missing hair, the complaint said. During the attack, she said she begged him to stop, but he kept yelling “I can’t stand you” while striking her, the complaint said.
Court records said Manerchia was arraigned on Thursday and released on $7,500 bail on the condition that he surrender all of his firearms and stay away from his wife. Hogan said Manerchia gave 45 guns to police, who learned the next day that he’d kept other guns and had returned to his house to confront his wife. Manerchia’s bail was revoked and reset at $350,000 cash, and he was remanded to Chester County Prison, Hogan said.
“A marriage license is not permission to abuse your wife,” said Hogan. “Regardless of where you are from or what you do for a living, the criminal laws against domestic violence apply to you. Nobody is above the law.”