Kathleen O’Donnell, 61, of Pennsylvania, claims that officers were sent to her day job to harass her after she wrote about Kathryn Knott, 25, the daughter of former Bucks County Police Chief Karl Knott.
In December, Kathryn Knott was found guilty of simple assault, conspiracy, and reckless endangerment after participating in a group attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia. She was sentenced to 5-10 months in prison, two years probation and will have to pay $2,000 in fines. The two others who participated in the brutal attack, Kevin Harrigan, 27, and Philip Williams, 25, both pleaded guilty and received probation.
During the mob beat down, one of the victims suffered a broken jaw as the three assailants, Knott and two male friends of hers, shouted anti-gay slurs.
O’Donnell, outraged over the incident, created a parody account with the name “Knotty is a Tramp,” where she blogged about any and all information that she could find on the woman, her father, and the case. She noted that the chief’s daughter often used anti-gay rhetoric in her social media posts.
O’Donnell claims that the Knott father and daughter duo called in a favor to the Bucks County District Attorney’s office to strong arm and intimidate her into stopping her writing.
According to Philly.com, Karl Knott was at the time, the chief of Chalfont Borough police in Bucks County and now is captain at the Central Bucks Regional Police Department
In August 2015, O’Donnell claims that two Bucks County district attorney detectives, Martin McDonough and Mark Zielinski, went to her day job and met with her boss. The detectives reportedly informed him that O’Donnell had been making “harassing comments” about Kathryn Knott, and that the postings sometimes came from her work computer.
O’Donnell claims that she was then approached by the detectives, who according to the lawsuit, “threatened” her and warned that if she did not cease her postings she “she would be arrested for ‘fraudulently impersonating Ms. Knott.’ “
The very same day, after the detectives left, O’Donnell was fired from her job.
District Attorney Heckler remains unapologetic about the incident, claiming that the blog “was perceived as potentially threatening and potentially inciting others” to harm the chief’s daughter.
“We would not have been looking into the matter unless it involved what we believed to be potentially incriminating behavior,” Heckler told Raw Story, “We certainly didn’t bully up on her because Chief Knott is a police officer and we were looking out for a buddy.”
O’Donnell is now suing Kathryn Knott, Karl Knott, Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler and the detectives who visited her job for 150,000 in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.