Assault and battery charge dropped, officer to be reinstated

By Joe Beck

Middletown police Cpl. Daniel Manili cleared the last hurdle to his reinstatement to duty when the prosecution dropped a charge of assault and battery against him Wednesday in Frederick County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

The charge stemmed from accusations made by Heather Lynn Hedrick, Manili’s former fiancé. She accused him of shoving her repeatedly, grabbing her with both hands and throwing her four to six feet when she visited him at his second job on May 31.

Middletown Police Chief Philip Breeden said Manili will be reinstated to duty the week of July 7. Manili had been suspended with pay while his case was being decided in court.

A death in the family that requires Manili to travel in and out of the state is the reason why his reinstatement is being delayed until July 7, Breeden said.

Breeden called the case closed “as far as the department is concerned.”

“We are going to welcome this officer back, and I’m sure all of my other officers are going to be glad to see him back because some of them have been pulling double duty in his absence,” Breeden said of Manili.

Hedrick, a Strasburg resident, also had sought a permanent protective order against Manili but dropped her request at a court hearing earlier this month. The petition included a request to have Manili restore utility service to her home after he moved out on May 30.

In an interview Thursday, Hedrick said the decision to drop the assault and battery charge “got under my skin a little bit.”

“Honestly, the only reason I think they dropped it, I think, it’s because he was an officer,” Hedrick said of the prosecution. “If it had been anybody else, some drunk from downtown Winchester, they would have prosecuted it.”

Heather Enloe, a special prosecutor from the Winchester Commonwealth’s Attorney office, had been appointed to prosecute the case instead of a member of the Frederick County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office. Enloe was unavailable for comment Thursday about the reasons for dropping the assault and battery charge.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com