78431921

Police badge on computer keyboard

An Indiana-area woman has been charged with taking part in an elaborate and prolonged scheme to harass her boyfriend while she had an affair with their former co-worker in Blair County.

Hollidaysburg Borough police on Wednesday filed a series of misdemeanor charges against Bailey Brendlinger, 22, of Campground Road, Cherryhill Township, in Hollidaysburg District Court.

Investigators said that Donald Byers, 46, of Hollidaysburg, began sending anonymous text messages to Bruce Kalinoski in December 2020, in an apparent effort to split the relationship Kalinoski and Brendlinger began in December 2019, while they worked together at Norfolk Southern Railroad.

Byers’ pattern of stalking included tailing Kalinoski in a restaurant and a supermarket, decorating the tailgate of his truck with stickers with Brendlinger’s name on them, and secretly attaching a tracking device to Kalinoski’s pickup truck so he could remotely monitor Kalinoski’s movements and arrange trysts with Brendlinger, investigators charged.

Some of the messages mentioned Brendlinger, according to court papers. Kalinoski quizzed Brendlinger, and she said she suspected Byers, police said, but she denied knowing anything about them.

Police said Brendlinger claimed that Byers wanted to have a relationship with her but that she turned him down.

As the episode went on, Brendlinger forwarded photos to Kalinoski of his truck parked in various Altoona area locations, and said they had been anonymously sent to her phone.

Kalinoski told police that he asked Norfolk Southern to investigate Byers, and that Byers was fired from his job a short time later.

In January, according to court papers, Kalinoski received a text that addressed him with an expletive, and went on to say “I think I finally drove a big enough wedge between you and her for her to give up on you finally … It cost me my job and a ton of money but if I wasn’t able to have her, I was going to make sure you weren’t either.”

In March, Kalinoski discovered a tracking device hidden in the bumper of his truck. Court papers show police traced ownership of the unit to Byers.

Armed with a search warrant, police seized computers and electronic devices from Byers, from his vehicle and from his house, and uncovered thousands of screen images of Snapchat conversations between Byers and Brendlinger, indicating that she had known about much of the stalking. Police also discovered photos of Brendlinger in various stages of undress that confirmed to investigators that she and Byers had an ongoing romantic relationship, according to the complaint.

Hollidaysburg police charged first charged Byers in the case on April 2, after evidence confirmed that he hid the GPS tracking unit on Kalinoski’s truck.

They filed the same charges Wednesday against Brendlinger: two counts of stalking, both first-degree misdemeanors, and one count each of conspiracy, harassment and disorderly conduct.

Byers posted $40,000 bond for his release from Blair County Jail and waived his right to a preliminary hearing on April 28.

He was set for formal arraignment last week in the county court.

Brendlinger, according to court records, has been ordered to appear July 13 in Hollidaysburg District Court for preliminary arraignment and a preliminary hearing.