York Daily Record
Published 9:02 AM EDT Sep 18, 2018
YORK, Pa. — Police arrested a man at a Pennsylvania fair after he allegedly yanked a leash that was attached to his wife's neck, causing her head to snap back and red marks around her throat, according to charging documents.
West Manchester Township Police opened an investigation into the alleged assault Saturday, after a witness said they had seen Wolford walking around the fair with his wife, Catherine Wolford, who had a red nylon dog-style leash, about eight feet long, around her neck, documents state.
The witness said Wolford "had yanked that leash when all of the slack had gone out of it, causing her head to move backwards and for her to sustain red marks around her throat area," documents state.
Walter William Wolford Sr., 66, of Maryland, faces one count of simple assault. He was arraigned on the charge and released on $5,000 unsecured bail.
Wolford could not be reached for comment Monday.
Emergency medics on scene attended to Catherine Wolford, police said.
"She was very disoriented, did not know where she was, her own name, and spoke in gibberish," documents state.
Wolford told police his wife suffered from advance-stage dementia and that a doctor had given her two years to live — about five years ago. Wolford said he brought his wife to the fair last year — without a leash — and she had wandered away from him. She was found an hour-and-a-half later, leaving by one of the fair's gates, documents state.
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Wolford said he decided he needed to attach something to his wife to keep her from wandering, so he came up with the idea for the leash.
"Walter told me that he originally placed the leash around her waist, but somehow it had moved up around her neck and when she walked away from him and all of the slack became taut, he 'gently tugged on the leash so she would stop,'" documents state.
He said his wife is not on any medication for dementia "'because they don't make any medication that works for that,'" documents state.
Police also spoke with the Wolfords' son, Walter Wolford Jr., who "did not offer much info in this case but did state that he felt his father was not abusive to his mother," documents state.
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