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Private criminal complaint filed against York Area Regional Police Chief

The complaint was filed by the estranged wife of Robert Vicosa concerning the department's handling of an emergency PFA issued against Vicosa on Nov. 14.

YORK, Pa. — During a press conference on Monday about events surrounding the apparent murder-suicide by Robert Vicosa, York County District Attorney Dave Sunday announced a private criminal complaint was filed against York Area Regional Police Chief Tim Damon by Vicosa's estranged wife.

The complaint was filed against Damon over the police department's enforcement of emergency protection from abuse (PFA) order filed against Robert Vicosa.

Police say Vicosa died along with his daughters and another woman in an apparent murder-suicide on Nov. 18.

The complaint was originally filed with the York County District Attorney's office but has since been passed over to the office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

A spokesperson for Shapiro's office released the following statement:

“The York County District Attorney referred the private criminal complaint to our office and we are in the process of reviewing. The loss of these two young lives is truly heartbreaking and our thoughts and prayers are with their family and the community mourning this incredible loss.

Like all Pennsylvanians, we hope York County officials’ announcement of a committee to review what led up to these tragic events will get to the bottom of what happened here to ensure it never happens again.”

The announcement comes after court documents revealed that before the manhunt for Vicosa began, Vicosa’s ex-wife was held captive for three days. She was able to report the incident to York County Regional Police on Nov. 14 and get an emergency restraining order, but police did not execute a search warrant for Vicosa’s home until Nov. 15.

Usually police file criminal complaints, but civilians can file private criminal complaints that head to district attorneys for review.

In the complaint, Vicosa's estranged wife said Judge Ronald Haskell Jr. issued an emergency PFA order for the protection of her daughters on the evening of Nov. 14.

"At approximately 3 a.m. on Nov. 15, I was informed by two York Area Regional Officers that the chief of police put a stop to the order," Vicosa's estranged wife wrote in the private criminal complaint. "I was given no explanation for the stop and am still unaware of the reason for stopping the order.

"In the meantime, my two daughters continue to be in the custody of their father, who is a danger to them and to himself."

Sunday also announced his intent to form a committee to review best practices to prevent domestic violence. The multi-agency committee would include the York County District Attorney’s office, the York County Chiefs of Police Association, the York County Child Abduction Response Effort (CARE) team, and the York Area Regional Police Department.

The committee would consider new police protocols, better use of technology and lobbying to change laws if necessary.

“What we want to do is look at the entirety of the set of circumstances so that we can make any determinations as to, ‘Hey, is there a way that we could minimize the likelihood or probability of an outcome like this in the future?’” Sunday said.

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