Pennsylvania Man Arrested After Taking His Wife To Fair With Leash Around Her Neck

man-arrested-yanking-leash-1Walter William Wolford Sr., 66, of Hagerstown, was arrested after a bystanders watched in horror as he led his wife around with a dog leash around her neck.  Catherine Wolford has late-stage dementia and, according to her husband has run off in danger to herself.

Bystanders said that he yanked the leash to get her to walk but Wolford insists that the leash was originally around her waist and slipped to her neck.  Police say that they found red marks around her neck.

He is now charged with one count of simple assault, according to the York Daily Record.

Wolford says that his wife was only given two year to live five years ago, but she is no longer taking the medication because of its lack of benefits.  His son Walter Wolford Jr. has given a statement to police that his father was not abusive.

Wolford insists that he did nothing wrong and is not “a monster.”  He said he loves his wife and this is the only practical way to take her out.  He suggested that the alternative was to leave her confined to the home.

Simply assault under the Pennsylvania code allows for a charge when someone intentionally, knowingly or recklessly attempted to cause bodily injury to another person.  This would likely fall under the reckless category.

The case raises a question of the requisite scienter. The assumption is that any restraint would be reckless, particularly if it left a mark.  If the leash was around her waist, would it be viewed as assault if his motivation was to control her?

12 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Man Arrested After Taking His Wife To Fair With Leash Around Her Neck”

  1. This situation is sad on every level. An arrest of the husband is unwarranted and excessive.

  2. He should have claimed keeping his wife on a collar leash was an issue of religious freedom. If you can keep women confined to black sacks with eyeholes for their entire lives, surely a neck leash is no big deal.

  3. The husband is a sick man. He could have put the collar around her wrist and achieved the same thing. He is angry at her and so is intentionally degrading her.

  4. I am not sure that it is assault. We have “Silver Alerts” here exactly for people like this who wander off and get lost. In our heat in the summer, many times that is a death sentence. I can both empathize and sympathize with his situation. How do you go to the fair with her and not lose her? I don’t know about putting it around her neck, I would have to see the leash before I made a judgment there.

  5. I’ve seen people with toddlers on leashes. It looks weird, but the purpose is presumably to keep the child from wandering away from the parent. The difference is that the leash on the toddler is attached to straps around his torso, not his neck. I think the husband was trying to do the same thing but needs some help to find a more appropriate get-up. A leash around her neck is dangerous, should she fall. But he deserves credit for taking her to the fair. He could have left her home watching “The View” in soiled Depends.

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