By Sarah Freishtat of The Beacon-News
Members of a Montgomery family alleged in police complaints that a village trustee, in a profanity-laced confrontation, accused them of shooting off fireworks, police records show.
Steve Jungermann, who is three years into his current term on the Village Board, now faces misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges.
The charges stem from an Aug. 15 argument between Jungermann and a family in the 2100 block of Kathleen Court, police records show.
Jungermann told police that fireworks had gone off in the area and that another resident told him fireworks had been shot toward a house. Jungermann tracked the fireworks to a home and did not see anyone shooting off fireworks, according to police reports.
A teen at the home had been having a bonfire with friends, and his father told police Jungermann arrived and confronted some of them about shooting off fireworks, "swearing at them and calling them names," according to police reports.
In their complaints, the family said Jungermann "knowingly alarmed and disturbed" family members by driving to their home after 10:30 p.m. and yelling profanities at a teen and his friends, and "refusing to leave," according to copies of the complaints.
Jungermann referred questions to his attorney, saying, "I look forward to my day in court."
Jungermann’s attorney, David Camic, said he could not characterize whether the complaints were accurate or inaccurate because he is still investigating what happened. Jungermann is a village trustee and is obligated to ensure ordinances are followed, he said. "He was just trying to make sure the village was safe," Camic said.
Last week, after Jungermann was charged, the Montgomery Village Board voted to allow officers to cite a property owner or occupant of a residence for allowing fireworks-related offenses to occur on their property. Jungermann voted for the change and said he is in favor of the measure.
Village President Matt Brolley declined in an email to comment before Jungermann’s court date.
One of the family members who filed a complaint said the teen is not a liar.
In statements to police, family members described the confrontation and said Jungermann repeatedly swore at them and at a police officer who arrived. In a statement to police, Jungermann acknowledged using profanity but said it was not directed at the teen. He told police he did not go onto the family’s property during the argument.
Jungermann responded to a Facebook thread about fireworks in the area, according to a copy of the conversation documented by police. The family told police he posted their address on the conversation, according to a police report. Days after the incident, in police reports, the family described feeling worried and concerned that they might be targeted.
Jungermann was released on his own recognizance on the disorderly conduct charge and is set to appear in court again in October.
Police records show Jungermann has made several calls to police in the past five years to report concerns such as suspicious vehicles or reckless conduct. In 2013, a police officer sent an email to a supervisor seeking for him "to be made aware" that Jungermann planned to talk with a group whose house party had been broken up by police. In the email, the officer said Jungermann was advised not to do so, and Jungermann then said he would follow up in the morning. The officer said he was concerned it would cause problems and damage the relationship police had built with people in that house.
Regarding Jungermann’s calls for service, Camic said, "He’s a trustee. He’s supposed to notify the Police Department." firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @srfreish