A 60-year-old man from Derry Township has been arrested and charged with attempted murder after he reportedly tied a tripwire on top of a flight of stairs in an attempt to kill his wife.
William Joseph Dankestreiter Jr. has been held on a $500,000 bond.
The Pennsylvania State Police said that Dankesreiter was targeting his 59-year-old wife.
Trooper Stephen Limani told KDKA: “Mr. Dankesreiter put a tripwire at the top of the steps.”
He reportedly used a fishing line in an attempt to take the life of his wife but when she tripped, she managed to stop herself from falling to the basement.
“If she had fallen, there were about 10 steps she would have fallen down and there is a small landing area. And then another few steps, she would have been landing on concrete. I can only imagine how catastrophic her injuries would be,” Limani said.
His wife, Laura Dankesreiter, said that this was not the first time Mr. Dankesreiter attempted to hurt her.
“That’s one of the things with domestic violence,” Limani added, “it usually increases. It starts at a low level, with verbal abuse, and escalates to physical violence.”
As officers were talking to the wife, the husband pulled up to the house in his truck.
“It was obviously thought through,” Limani said. “I don’t know how long he was thinking this through. You could definitely see there was a line tied across. There was nothing accidental about this.”
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