YORK — A 67-year-old Maryland man will face trial for allegedly wrapping a leash around his wife’s neck while attending the York Fair last month.
Walter Wolford Sr., of Hagerstown, is charged with simple assault. His wife suffers from severe dementia. Wolford is accused of yanking on the leash while it was around his wife’s neck, causing her to react as if she were in pain, when the two were visiting the Fair on Sept. 15.
District Judge Keith Albright determined enough evidence exists to move the case to York County Court for trial, according to online court documents.
Wolford will be formally arraigned on Nov. 30, court records show. He is free on $5,000 bail.
A witness at the Fair told police she saw Wolford and his wife, who had an 8-foot nylon leash around her neck. The witness said she saw Wolford yank the leash, causing his wife’s head to move backward. The victim had red marks around her neck, the witness told police.
Wolford told police his wife was suffering from advanced-stage dementia. He said that when he and his wife attended the York Fair last year, she was not wearing any restraints and wandered off and became lost for over an hour. He told police that this year, he felt his wife should have some form of restraint to prevent her from getting lost and came up with the leash idea, according to the criminal complaint.
Wolford said he originally had the leash around his wife’s waist, but it worked its way up to her neck. When she walked away, Wolford said, he “gently tugged at the leash so she would stop.”
Wolford’s son and daughter-in-law, who were also attending the Fair, told police that Wolford was not abusive.