An Altoona police detective is under investigation by state police after he was allegedly found with a 14-inch knife and gloves on his passenger seat after a series of threatening phone calls to his ex-wife last weekend.
The ex-wife of Cpl. Craig Zahradnik made the accusations in her petition for a protection-from-abuse order she received after Saturday's alleged incident. The Mirror isn't naming the ex-wife to protect her identity.
The application for an emergency order, which was granted by a magisterial district judge, shows Zahradnik didn't threaten his ex-wife or their two children, but that Zahradnik called his ex-wife to tell her he was going to kill himself before calling back and threatening to go after a male friend of the woman.
"He's first," Zahradnik was quoted as telling his ex-wife in court documents filed at the Blair County Courthouse this week.
Zahradnik's ex-wife explained that she first received a call about 10 p.m. Saturday from Zahradnik, who told her he wanted to go over to her house to kiss his kids goodnight, court documents state. When she told him not to and that he should just go to sleep because he had been drinking, the call ended. Zahradnik allegedly called back immediately and threatened his ex-wife's male friend.
As his ex-wife tried to reach her friend, Zahradnik allegedly showed up at her house and pounded on the door. His ex-wife noted she hid until he left and called family members, who called 911.
Zahradnik then called his ex-wife's house phone, but the woman said she didn't answer it because she "was afraid if I answered I would set his plan in motion that he may be trying to hurt himself," the PFA application states. She also pointed out Zahradnik has "many guns" at his home, and she was afraid he would hurt himself.
Zahradnik was "picked up around 11 p.m." near his ex-wife's home and that he was taken to the Altoona Police Department, court documents state. State police found the knife and gloves on his vehicle's front passenger seat.
His ex-wife said Zahradnik "has had a drinking problem for many years, and I do feel that it escalated the situation," court documents stated. She also said she was afraid he would hurt himself, and that she hoped he would get help and "we can move on with our lives."
State police are investigating a terroristic threats incident in the city on Oct. 9, but that was all Trooper Jeff Petucci, a spokesman for Troop G, Hollidaysburg, said he could say about the case.
Attempts to contact Zahradnik for comment have been unsuccessful this week. According to the PFA documents, Zahradnik was taken to a mental health facility after the incident. No criminal charges had been filed as of Thursday.
A call to Altoona Police Chief Janice Freehling concerning the incident, the department's handling of Zahradnik's arrest and his status on the police force was unreturned.
Altoona police Cpl. William Boyles, president of Mountain Lodge No. 8, Fraternal Order of Police, said Thursday that he was unaware of Zahradnik's job status following the alleged incident.
Zahradnik is due to appear for a PFA hearing in Blair County Court Thursday
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.