FALLS CREEK – A Clearfield Borough police officer is facing charges for domestic violence in Jefferson County.
Online court records show that Ethan M. Fritz, 25, of Falls Creek has been charged by DuBois-based state police with two misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats, plus one count of summary harassment.
Fritz was incarcerated Wednesday at the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail, which he has since posted. He’s scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing July 31.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on July 6, a trooper was walking toward the 100 block of Church Street in Falls Creek. He saw three separate vehicles arrive and then heard yelling.
At the scene, he saw three people and made contact with Fritz’s mother first. In an “elevated” tone, she told the trooper to speak to her son because of “what he did.”
At this time, Fritz was standing on his covered porch. The victim, his wife, was carrying their baby in a car seat from inside the residence to her vehicle.
The trooper requested for the victim to remain at the scene, and he asked Fritz to come speak with him. Fritz admitted to having engaged in an argument with his wife.
Fritz said he left and went to his buddy’s residence and when he returned later, his mother began “flipping out” on him. Then, he said the trooper arrived on scene.
Another trooper who responded to assist with the investigation interviewed Fritz’s mother.
She began by saying her son had “hurt the victim again” and the victim had come to her office at the Falls Creek Borough building to advise her of the couple’s argument.
She said the victim told her that Fritz had hurt her wrist. She advised the trooper that, “You need to see her wrist,” and “it isn’t OK what he is doing to her.”
Troopers also interviewed the victim who said the couple began arguing after Fritz accused her of cheating on him. She eventually decided to take their baby and go to her parents’ residence until she went to work.
She gathered some things up in a bag and sat the baby down in the car seat on the front porch. She had the bag in her hand, which Fritz allegedly tried to grab and pull with its strap around her wrist.
The victim said she was able to free her hand. Then, she left and went to Fritz’s mother’s office to advise her of what had just happened.
When asked if this was the first time Fritz had acted this way, she indicated that police have been to the couple’s residence two other times over domestic arguments.
The victim said at the time of one previous incident, she was one-month pregnant. She said because he was “hurting” her, she fled to his mother’s residence next door.
During the interview, state police observed an abrasion on the victim’s left wrist. State police took photographs of the injury.
Fritz was interviewed outside his residence, at which time he denied “touching” his wife’s wrist. He also denied pulling the bag and claimed she’s been known to “smack her own wrists.”
On July 10, a summary non-traffic citation was filed before the district court. Later a “known person” arrived at the DuBois barracks after being contacted about the domestic incident and Fritz losing his job.
The person reported they were aware of threats made toward the victim by Fritz and supplied state police with contact information to further their investigation.
Through an interview, state police learned a relative was concerned for the well-being of the victim and her baby. He said her wrist was possibly fractured and had been wrapped in a bandage since the incident.
The victim contacted state police and advised that her wrist had swelled, leaving her with limited mobility. She had also observed discoloration in her wrist and she had it wrapped upon recommendation from a paramedic.
The victim explained to state police that she hadn’t gone to the hospital due to lack of insurance. The trooper asked if he could respond to take updated photographs and she gave him her location.
The trooper observed discoloration in the victim’s thumb and swelling in her wrist. She said she had trouble moving her thumb because it hurt so much.
When asked if she had any other information to report, she said she and Fritz had argued again the morning of July 10 because he had been text-messaging other girls.
Fritz allegedly told her that she “wouldn’t wake up the next morning” because something “would be in her throat.” She said that was when she decided she was leaving and not coming back.
Based on new evidence, state police decided to withdraw the original summary harassment charge filed against Fritz. He appeared at the DuBois barracks and was taken into custody for domestic violence.
Fritz was introduced as a new police officer serving Clearfield Borough in September of 2017. He graduated from the Municipal Police Academy at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in May of last year, according to a previously-published GANT News report.