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Elderly man held on $500K bond for Waukesha domestic incident

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WAUKESHA, WI (WTAQ) - A 76-year-old man is jailed under a half-million dollar bond, for taking a gun to his ex-wife’s house right after a judge found him in contempt for violating his divorce settlement.

Authorities said Richard Petarius of Sussex exchanged gunfire with Waukesha police officers during the incident.

It happened late Tuesday afternoon at his ex’s condominium in Waukesha. Prosecutors said the man stormed inside, pushed his 75-year-old ex-wife to the floor, and broke her arm.

Later, she was talking to a police officer when Petarius allegedly appeared with a shotgun and pointed it to the officer. Two patrolmen exchanged gunshots with Petarius, but the bullets never hit anyone.

The woman was led out of the condo as police called for backup – and over two dozen squad cars and rescue vehicles from various agencies in the Milwaukee area showed up.

Petarius made an initial court appearance Thursday on 10 charges that include attempted homicide, reckless endangerment, false imprisonment, burglary, and possessing a gun in violation of a restraining order.

A judge placed a four-year restraining order on Petarius in 2010. He’s due back in court next Thursday. 

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