A fight between neighbors on Hale Lane turned religious when one neighbor took issue with a Hebrew sign outside her fellow neighbor’s door.
Kathleen Bothfeld, 47, turned herself in to Darien Police on Friday, Oct. 12 after a warrant was issued for her arrest for disorderly conduct regarding an ongoing dispute with her neighbor related to a Sept. 10 incident.
Bothfeld is listed online on avvo.com as an attorney licensed to practice law in Massachusetts.
According to police, Bothfeld and the neighbor had been advised to avoid further contact with each other due to prior disputes. The arrest warrant issued by the police stated officers were dispatched to Hale Lane on Sept. 10 after the neighbor accused Bothfield of remarking on the Shalom sign outside her door.
From the warrant, obtained from the Stamford Court Clerk’s office:
“Bothfeld yelled to (redacted) ‘that’s your Shalom sign outside (referencing a decorative, wooden Shalom sign that (redacted) has hung outside of her condo unit).
“(Redacted) stated that Bothfeld then yelled ‘I’m going to make sure your Shalom sign is coming down, bitch. Your Shalom sign is coming down, bitch.’”
According to Merriam Webster, “shalom” is used as a Jewish greeting and farewell and means “peace.”
Also from the warrant, Officer Thomas J. Whyte reports:
When Bothfeld initially greeted me at her door, and I asked her what happened this evening, she stated ‘I told her I was going to take that f—— sign down.’
I asked Bothfeld if she would elaborate as to what transpired. Bothfeld stated that she would only talk to me if she could tape record our conversation, to which I agreed. While speaking with Bothfeld, I observed her eyes were glassy and she admitted to drinking ‘two glasses of wine’ earlier this evening.’
The warrant stated that there were no witnesses to the exchange and it was then the neighbor called Darien Police. It also said it was determined that the Sept. 10 dispute was initiated by Bothfeld and she had “engaged in behaviors that were verbally abusive.”
Whyte, who took the neighbor’s statement, said Bothfeld’s comments had “annoyed her and offended her religious beliefs.”
Whyte wrote that the neighbor had provided a sworn, written statement in front of her attorney, Mark Sherman.
Sherman told The Darien Times that the “allegations are disturbing, and we have total confidence the criminal justice system will deal with them appropriately.”
Darien Police Captain Fred Komm told The Darien Times that “Bothfeld threatened to damage the neighbor’s property which happened to consist of a wooden Shalom sign and a planter.”
“She did not make any anti-Semitic comments to the neighbor, or allude to the fact that she wanted to damage the sign as a demonstration of anti-Semitism,” he said.
“Based on the totality of the circumstances, officers believed that incorporating all of Bothfeld’s actions within the context of a disorderly conduct charge would be the best course of action in this case. Obviously if she had actually damaged the sign and/or made any direct anti-Semitic comments to her neighbor this would have changed the dynamic,” Komm said.
Bothfeld was released on a written promise to appear at her next court date on Oct. 22.