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Man threatened his family, detective, authorities say

He pointed a gun at his wife, his child and a police detective, and he had threatened suicide earlier, police say.

By TAMARA LUSH

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 28, 2000


NEW PORT RICHEY -- Off-duty Detective Howard K. Snyder was putting away his laundry when he heard a car zoom down his street Wednesday night.

The same car sped through the residential neighborhood two more times before stopping a few houses away, at 7451 Astor Drive. Snyder, who works for the New Port Richey police department, decided to go talk to the driver, a man named Marvin Cherno.

Cherno, 44, was arguing with his wife in the front yard when Snyder arrived.

Cherno started calling the detective names and banged his fist on Snyder's unmarked police car, Snyder said.

Cherno walked into the house, and Snyder said he started talking to Cherno's wife and 8-year-old daughter.

Cherno then came out the door and pointed a .38-caliber semiautomatic gun at the three, threatening to shoot, authorities say.

Snyder pushed the wife and girl toward his car and ducked behind his driver's-side door, which was open.

"I didn't draw a weapon at him," Snyder said.

Instead, he called for backup.

Cherno continued to point the gun in Snyder's direction and said he would shoot anyone who tried to come in his house, authorities say, and then Cherno went inside.

It took several requests from officers and the New Port Richey police negotiation team before Cherno walked out of his house.

Cherno's ire started hours earlier, police said, when he called his wife at work and threatened to kill himself.

He was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and two counts of domestic aggravated assault. Cherno was booked into the county jail and is being held on $20,000 bail.

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