Richard A. Petarius, charged with 10 crimes after he shot at Waukesha Police while two officers were responding to a domestic violence complaint in Waukesha in October, has pleaded not-guilty Dec. 20.
This came after acompetency evaluation was ordered Nov. 1 for Petarius.
His next court appearance is Feb. 15.
According to the criminal complaint, the 76-year-old, who lives in Sussex, went to his ex-wife's residence, the Wyndwood Condominiums in the 1800 block of East Racine Avenue, armed with a 12-gauge shotgun.
The complaint says that Phyllis Petarius had just returned to her residence and saw her ex-husband pull up with a long barrel rifle and a bag.
The couple divorced in March after 55 years of marriage and had just been at the Waukesha County Courthouse earlier that day on a contempt order because Richard was not paying her alimony money, the complaint says.
The complaint says that Richard Petarius has been abusing her off and on since they were married.
Additionally, the complaint says that Phyllis Petarius has a two-year domestic abuse injunction issued against Richard Petarius. It prohibits the defendant from having any contact with Phyllis Petarius to include her residence except for incidental contact involving family functions. The injunction also prohibits the defendant from possessing any firearms until the expiration of the injunction.
Reports indicate that through their investigation, officers from the Waukesha Police Department learned the defendant obtained the shotgun he used from his son-in-law's residence in Neenah without his knowledge.
The complaint says that after Richard Petarius told Phyllis to go inside while they were in her garage, he grabbed her and pushed her toward the door. When this happened, Phyllis fell down onto the concrete floor of the garage. The defendant then grabbed Phyllis and told her that he was in charge now, the complaint says.
According to the complaint, once inside, Richard Petarius told his son on the phone that he was going to commit suicide.
When two police officers arrived around 4:15 p.m., Richard Petarius appeared inside holding a shotgun and pointed it at an officer, the complaint says.
One officer said Richard Petarius was about 10 to 15 feet away from her and said the firearm was pointed at her. She then took several shots at Petarius, the complaint says. The defendant then used his firearm to shoot at the officer nearly striking her, the complaint says. Shortly thereafter, upon the arrival of backup officers and Swat officers, the defendant surrendered to law enforcement.
Phyllis Petarius was treated at Waukesha Memorial Hospital for a broken arm and other minor injuries.
Richard Petarius is being charged with nine felony counts.
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