Waukesha Standoff Suspect In Court

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by Michele McCormack
by Elizabeth Fay

WAUKESHA---The 76-year-old man who allegedly beat his wife and then got into a standoff with Waukesha police earlier this week was in court Thursday.

Neighbors say he was a clown in his spare time, his ex-wife said he was a menacing abuser and police say he threatened them.

But Dick Petarius openly wept in court as he was formally charged with 10 counts including attempted first degree intentional homicide.

His defense attorney says he never had any intent to kill.

According to the criminal complaint, the shootout took place when two officers responded to a fight between Petarius and his ex-wife.

Petarius was supposedly upset about the break up of their marriage.

During the argument he allegedly broke his wife's arm and threatened to commit suicide.

Shortly after police showed up and rescued the woman, officers claim he came at them with a shotgun.

The officers opened fire, Petarius allegedly returned fire.

He was never hit.

Petarius faces several domestic violence related charges, including violating a court order to surrender his weapons after his wife asked for a restraining order against him.

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