By Saturday, some citizens of Frederica, Del., (if only the blindly optimistic) might have been fooled into thinking peace was at hand in their distressed little town: Nearly a week had gone by -- six full days -- without anyone in the Glanden family being arrested and charged with accosting Christopher Langley.
Then came a news release from the Delaware State Police, headlined simply: "Mayor's Wife Arrested."
Mayor William Glanden has been arrested four times since August.
Turns out it was just a lull.
At this point, it's doubtful any member of the Delmarva Peninsula news media had to wonder, "Which mayor?" The wife is Lorna Fay Glanden. And her husband, William C. "Chick" Glanden, has been arrested four times since August, accused of (among other offenses) harassing, slapping, trespassing on the property of and recklessly endangering the safety of Langley, with whom he has been feuding for years.
The mayor, 50, disposed of most of the charges in a plea deal, but he faces trials on charges he slapped Langley's face in February and knocked him down with a pickup, for which he was arrested April 2. This was the first time his wife had been taken into custody for a reported run-in with Langley, who (in a town of about 750 people) is one of the most vocal critics of the 13-month-old Glanden administration.
Lorna Fay Glanden, 44, said by phone yesterday that the case against her is lie. It's true that she was driving her Chevy minivan Friday night -- she drove to Hardee's for burgers, she said, because it had been a hard week and she didn't feel like cooking -- but she most certainly did not ("I did not, I did not, I did not") pull up near Langley and menace him with the Chevy while he was walking his dog.
"Apparently, he saw me leave the house," she said. "Or maybe I drove by him. Or maybe he was down one of the side streets and saw me. I don't know."
Langley, 44, who did not return a phone call yesterday seeking his side of the story, gave an entirely different account to the police.
According to the police, upon seeing Langley, the mayor's wife "crossed over the centerline and southbound shoulder, driving towards the victim. Glanden then traveled back into the northbound lane and drove around the block. Glanden then caught up with the victim as he was walking west on East David Street. Glanden was traveling eastbound and allegedly jumped the [curb] and almost struck the victim and his dog."
Glanden said she does everything possible to steer clear of Langley because her husband's alleged encounters with him have cost the family, to date, $10,000 for attorneys and $2,000 in bail bondsman fees. "I didn't even see the man" Friday night, she said. "I didn't do it. I didn't. There's nothing more I can say."
On Saturday, the phone rang in the Glanden home, and when she looked at the caller ID, she saw a number now familiar to her family: It was the state police.
"I thought they were calling about my husband, that he had done something again," Glanden said. But the caller "told me they wanted me, that I had to get over there by five o'clock to turn myself in. I said, 'Me? What did I do?' I was stunned."
She was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of possessing a deadly weapon (the van) during a felony. For a $1,000 fee, a bondsman posted her $10,000 bail. She said she came home and stayed in the house.
"It's not worth going outside anymore."