Alleged sexual predator’s father hits reporter outside courthouse


ROCKVILLE, Conn. (AP) – The father of an alleged sexual predator was arrested Thursday after striking a television reporter outside a courthouse where his son’s bail had just been revoked, police said.

David Shefelbine, 67, of Tolland, knocked WTNH-TV reporter Erin Cox to the ground with his arm or fist when she approached him as he left court, police said. Cox was checked at a local hospital and released.

She said during the station’s 6 p.m. broadcast that she was “a little shaken, but otherwise OK,” and that Shefelbein also jostled a cameraman as he left the courthouse.

“When I asked him to comment, he hit me and kept on walking,” Cox said.

Shefelbine later turned himself in at Vernon police headquarters and was charged with breach of peace, police said. He was released on $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court July 24.

Messages seeking comment were left Thursday at the Shefelbine home and at David Shefelbine’s computer business.

Shefelbine’s son, Scott D. Shefelbine of Tolland, had been out on bond while awaiting trial on charges including sexual assault. He was sent to jail Thursday for violating terms of his release, which included not using a computer or contacting girls under 18. Judge Stanley T. Fuger Jr. said he is also a risk to the community.

Fuger revoked Shefelbine’s bail after a hearing that lasted more than two days. Prosecutors said that Shefelbine visited a 14-year-old girl in West Hartford even though he was on house arrest and being monitored electronically.

The girl, now 15, and her sister, 17, testified that Shefelbine visited them and told them he was 17.

Shefelbine’s parents testified that he was always with them, either attending church or counseling. But Fuger said he did not believe them.

Shefelbine’s mother sobbed when Fuger ordered his bail revoked, but Shefelbine showed no emotion.

Scott Shefelbine has been free on $1.5 million bond while awaiting trial on charges including first-degree sexual assault.

Last October, when he was arraigned on those charges, a judge prohibited him from using a computer and from contacting women younger than 18.

But on June 19, West Hartford police arrested him for allegedly using the Internet to contact the 14-year-old girl and kissing her twice on the lips against her will. They also said he contacted a victim in another case against him, which he was prohibited from doing.

AP-ES-07-12-07 1813EDT