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Ice rink manager faces assault charges

May 12, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

The general manager of the Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex has been charged with two counts of second-degree assault in connection with allegations he inappropriately touched a 17-year-old female ice rink snack bar employee on two occasions.

Carl Fair Langford, 41, of 10831 Clinton Ave. in Hagerstown, was charged with the misdemeanor counts in connection with alleged incidents on Feb. 23 and between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30 in 2003.

Langford would not comment on the charges when reached by telephone at the Security Road ice rink Tuesday.

He said he has been the general manager at the ice rink for about seven years and began work there as a volunteer. The ice rink has been open for seven years, he said.

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Karen Giffin, Hagerstown public information officer, said the city owns the ice rink building but the nonprofit Hagerstown Sports and Ice Foundation runs the ice rink and is considered a lessee.

The 17-year-old girl told Hagerstown Police Department Detective Tammy Jurado that she had been working at the ice rink snack bar since September 2002, court documents state.

The girl said she was standing with a co-worker in the ice rink office in either October or November last year when Langford approached her and unzipped her sweater, revealing her bra and tank top, according to charging documents.

The second incident happened on Feb. 23, the girl's 17th birthday, court documents state.

As the employees of the ice rink were gathered in the party room for a meeting, some employees began singing "Happy Birthday" to the girl. When Langford entered the room and was told it was the girl's birthday, he kissed her on the lips, court documents allege.

The girl said she immediately slapped Langford on the chest, pushed him away and told him not to touch her, the documents allege.

Employees who were at the Feb. 23 meeting said the girl's demeanor after the kiss was "surprised, mortified and speechless," court documents allege.

In an interview at the police station, Langford said he kissed the girl on the lips, but "they were just joking and playing around," according to court documents.

Langford told police the girl welcomed him with open arms as if to hug him, and that after the kiss she joked that "Uncle Carl" kissed her, documents state.

In the police interview, Langford said he did not remember the incident involving the unzipped sweater, but said "it could have happened" after Jurado told him another employee witnessed the incident, records state.

Penny M. Nigh, a voting member of the ice rink's board of directors as well as a liaison from the City of Hagerstown, said Tuesday she had only received a memo regarding the incident earlier that day.

"Until I talk to someone, I really don't have anything," Nigh said.

Nigh declined to release the memo.

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