A case of unrequited love ensnares candidate Heller
By Derek Gentile
GREAT BARRINGTON- A series of complaints between a Monterey couple and County Commission candidate Glenn M. Heller were dropped by mutual consent in a show-cause hearing in District Court yesterday after both parties agreed not to have any contact with each other.
In the complaint, Heller was charged with trespassing, assault and battery and operating to endanger by Dara Zantay of Lake Buel Road. He in turn charged her and her husband, Robert Zantay, with separate counts of assault and battery. Charges of harassing telephone calls, filed by both parties against each other, were thrown out by clerk-magistrate Louis A. Airoldi for lack of evidence.
During the hearing, Dara Zantay told Airoldi that, on at least one occasion, Heller had followed her in his car through Stockbridge, has attempted to speak with her on several occasions against her will and sent her love letters urging her to leave her husband. She and her husband reported that Heller has also called members of their respective families, seeking information about the couple.
“I have never been his girlfriend, I do not love him, I am a happily married woman who loves her husband and whose husband loves her,” she said.“I just want to make sure that he leaves me alone, that he leaves my family alone and that he leaves my friends alone.”
The series of events culminated in an incident Aug. 10 when Heller followed Dara Zantay into a friend’s apartment in Lenox. She asked him to leave, Heller left, and Zantay followed him onto Church Street to beg him not to see her again.
When Heller touched her arm, she slapped him. Zantay reported Heller said,“You’re beautiful,” so she slapped him again.
“I was furious,” she said “I felt violated by this man.”
He basically agreed with her recollection of the incident in Lenox but added that he did not touch her aggressively.
“I was trying to calm her down,” he said.
He did not deny writing her love letters and in fact produced several other letters he wrote her. The Zantays denied receiving the other letters.
Heller denied he had ever followed Zantay in a car, adding that he did not see how she could tell it was him in the car, although she did describe the vehicle. He said he was never notified in writing that the Zantays did not want him on their property.
Heller and Robert Zantay also related slightly different versions of an incident in front of the Monterey Post Office in which Heller was asked to stay away from Dara Zantay.
Robert Zantay told Airoldi he grabbed Heller by his shirt lapels to tell him to “get a life of his own.”
Heller maintained that Zantay rushed at him, yelling, and swung at him. Zantay, he said, then broke off the antenna on his car.
Zantay countered that he did not break off the antenna.
Dara Zantay said she did not seek damages for Heller’s actions. She asked the court simply to ensure that he would stay away from her.
“He has an obsession with me. This is no joke. I’m afraid to go to the movies. I’m afraid to visit my mother, I’m afraid to get into my car because he might be there,” she said.
Heller said her request to cease contact was “too broad.” He said he has many friends who frequent Camp Deerwood, where Robert Zantay works.
“Mr. Heller, we’re just talking about you and the Zantays” Airodi said,“That means no more phone calls, no more love letters, no calling of friends or relatives, no contact. None.”
Heller agreed and the two parties signed the agreement. THE END.
(In more ways than one!)