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Suit against police chief alleges threat

September 08, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Harpers Ferry, W.Va., Police Chief Charles Wyndham is being sued in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg by a man who alleges Wyndham threatened him, according to court records.

Charles Godlove claims Wyndham entered his apartment Aug. 1 on a burglary call and took a bank deposit slip of Godlove's that contained confidential information, according to the lawsuit.

Godlove alleges in the suit that when he confronted Wyndham about the bank slip, the chief threatened him if he did not drop the matter.

The suit lists no reason the deposit slip would have been taken.

Wyndham said he was unaware of the lawsuit or the allegations.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Wyndham said.

Wyndham refused further comment on the lawsuit and referred all questions to the town's attorney, John Askintowicz of Charles Town, W.Va.

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"At first blush, (the lawsuit) appears meritless," Askintowicz said.

Police were called to Godlove's apartment Aug. 1 after Godlove was locked out due to a problem with his door knob, according to court records.

A neighbor saw Godlove climbing the balcony of an upstairs apartment and mistook him for a burglar, according to court records.

After knocking on the door of Godlove's apartment and getting no answer, Wyndham entered the apartment, court records state.

Godlove's attorney, Keith Wheaton of Martinsburg, did not return calls for comment Wednesday afternoon.

The lawsuit claims Godlove feared for his personal safety and suffered severe emotional distress, according to court records.

In the suit, he seeks $250,000 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages, according to court records.

A court date has not been set for the case.

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