At 24-years-old, Stephen Bernadyn faces 18 separate charges after allegedly attempting to run over three police officers early Saturday who were responding to reports that the same man had attempted to break into a home on Westfield Road in Dundalk.
"He threw a chair in the yard, kicked the grill over and then at some point he picked up a fire pit and actually threw it through the kitchen window,” said Cpl. Shawn Vinson with the Baltimore County Police Department, “and he sticks his head into the kitchen window and he's yelling into the house threatening one of the occupants inside that house."
According to charging documents, Bernadyn yelled, "I'm going to put you in a coma and I'm going to break your nose!"
We have now learned the focus of his anger was Robert Chesser, who now faces an assault charge for allegedly bumping the suspect's wife and knocking her down some steps during a drunken incident inside the house a few hours earlier at two in the morning, confirming word that spread through the community shortly after Bernadyn's arrest.
"The guy that lives there had a confrontation with his girlfriend's daughter,” said Mark Cerreta, a neighbor, “The girlfriend's daughter called her husband saying the guy put his hands on her."
In fact, it appears it was Bernadyn's mother-in-law, Dawn Lee, who spotted him sticking his head through a broken window and cried out that she was calling police when he then fled, jumped into his truck and later made a bee-line towards police when they tried to block his path, crashing into a number of vehicles in the process before he was finally subdued.
"Luckily, in this instance, these officers were able to get out of the way, take evasive action and not be injured in this situation, but we have had some critical incidents that have involved vehicles lately including the loss of our officer in May of this year," said Vinson.
While the domestic dispute certainly does not take away from the serious charges Bernadyn faces, it does show how quickly these incidents can escalate into violence and just how difficult it can be to sort out the aggressors from the victims.