Friday, May 01, 2015

Elderly man arrested after allegedly grabbing neighbour's neck in malfunctioning doorbell row

An 82-year-old Florida man spent Tuesday night in jail after deputies say he grabbed his 81-year-old neighbour's neck during an argument over the fact that his doorbell rang whenever hers did. Victim Diana Willis-Morse says she is still shaken by the episode, which happened at a Century Village retirement community in West Boca. She said she'd sought an order of protection against her alleged attacker, Julian Mariasis. "Cursing and carrying on and calling me names," Willis-Morse said. "For what? What did I do?"

Deputies arrested Mariasis on a charge of battery against a person over 65 years old. He was released from jail on Wednesday afternoon. According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report, the dispute began at about 11am on Tuesday, when Marisias, fed up with the doorbell situation, came down to Willis-Morse's apartment to confront her. Willis-Morse said the confrontation was apparently triggered by a friend of hers ringing her doorbell. She said Mariasis, to whom she'd never spoken before, "barged into" her apartment and started yelling at her about their doorbells being on the same frequency. He was "screaming like a banshee," Willis-Morse said.

When she tried to close the door, she told deputies, he pushed her and grabbed her throat. "I'm 82 years old," Willis-Morse said. "I have a broken femur and a broken hip, not from this, but when he started to push me, I started getting panicky because I thought I was going to fall again." Her friend told deputies Mariasis called Willis-Morse "stupid" and used an expletive against her. She said that as Willis-Morse was trying to push Mariasis out of her apartment, Mariasis reached out and pushed her back and reached out toward her again. The sheriff's office report said Mariasis acknowledged going to Willis-Morse's apartment to talk to her about the doorbell problem.

He said while he was standing inside the unit, the conversation turned into an argument and the woman told him to leave, and grabbed his arm and shirt - allegations Willis-Morse denies. Mariasis told deputies he did not know where his other arm went during the struggle and it's possible he may have grabbed Willis-Morse. While Willis-Morse said she was frightened by her neighbour's actions, she also found a little humour in the catalyst of the attack. She said her doorbell rings whenever his does, too. "There's no reason in this world," she said, "that anybody has to push, holler, scream and do what he did over the sound of a buzz. It's not even a buzz, actually, it's a bell. It's a pretty sound, it really is."

No comments: