Ernest Manerchia, a police officer and SWAT team member in Chester, Delaware County, has been charged with aggravated assault and related offenses for allegedly slapping and strangling his wife, authorities announced today.
Manerchia, 56, who lives in Pocopson Township, Chester County, was initially released on $7,500 bail and ordered to surrender all his firearms and stay away from his wife. He turned over 45 guns, but state police later learned that he'd secretly kept other guns and had returned to his house to confront his wife. His bail was then revoked and set at $350,000.
"A marriage license is not permission to abuse your wife," said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. "Regardless of where you are from or what you do for a living, the criminal laws against domestic violence apply to you. Nobody is above the law."
Hogan also announce the arrest of Lirim Rufati, 24, a West Chester University student who allegedly assaulted his wife, whom he married through an arranged marriage in Macedonia. Police say Rufati forcibly raped her and urinated on her when she refused to have sex with him.