Bethlehem Police Officer, New Martinsville Resident Charged With Stalking Student
WHEELING – A Bethlehem police officer was jailed April 16 after allegedly stalking a student and continuing to insert himself into her life.
Daniel Eastham, 29 of New Martinsville was arraigned April 16 by Ohio County Magistrate Charles Murphy, who jailed him on a $50,000 cash-only bond. Eastham faces misdemeanor charges of stalking and violation of a protective order.
The charges stem from Nov. 16, when the mother of a female student at an unspecified Ohio County school told Eastham to cut all contact with her daughter. The mother obtained a restraining order that is in effect until Sept. 1, 2019.
At a later date in January, Eastham allegedly showed up at the school with gifts for the girl. When the student saw him in the school office, she stopped and refused to enter, returning to her classroom “visibly shaken and upset,” according to the police report. The student told staff she was not allowed to be around Eastham due to a fight he’d had with her mother, and that Eastham comes to school to “spy” on the student, according to the police report.
The matter was reported to the school’s public resource officer, a deputy with the Ohio County Sheriff’s Office.
On April 15, authorities charged Eastham with stalking. Investigators then called the student’s mother, who said she had been receiving calls all day from Eastham’s number, including three within about 15 minutes. This led to the charges of violation of a protective order.
Eastham turned himself in to the sheriff’s office and was arrested around 1:45 p.m. April 16.
Bethlehem Mayor Tim Bishop said the village had no comment on the matter. Bishop also declined to say whether Eastham had been placed on suspension, calling the topic a “private human resources matter.”
“The charges do not involve the governmental body of the village of Bethlehem,” Bishop said. “As is always the case, we will cooperate with the Ohio County Sheriff’s Office.”