Romeis attacker charged — (The Chippewa Herald)

SSRI Ed note: Man on various meds including antidepressants launches unprovoked attack on woman, 96. Charged with attempted murder, mental illness blamed.

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The Chippewa Herald


Nov 29, 2005

A man who allegedly attacked a 96-year-old woman at the Romeis Apartments in Chippewa Falls Sunday was charged today with attempted first degree intentional homicide and aggravated battery of an elderly person.

John S. McCabe, 42, was scheduled to make an initial appearance in court at 1:30 p.m. today. He could be sentenced to up to 66 years in prison if convicted of both charges. McCabe, who resided at the Romeis Apartments at 607 N. High Street up until his arrest, is being held on $25,000 cash bond and on a probation hold.

According to police reports:

The incident took place around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, when McCabe entered a common area and sat on a sofa across from Claira Hurt, 96. McCabe asked the woman how old she was, and other questions, including whether she was ready to die.

McCabe then allegedly lunged at the woman and started to choke her.

Hurt was able to bite McCabe on the hand. He withdrew and Hurt got up and went to the door of a friend, who called police.

McCabe fled the building, and was just leaving as police arrived. When police identified McCabe as the suspect, a bulletin attempting to locate him was issued.

McCabe turned up in a ditch off County F near 220th Street. A caller reported a one-vehicle roll-over accident at that location. A county deputy responded and arrested McCabe for operating while intoxicated and operating after revocation.

McCabe was taken to the Bloomer Medical Center for treatment of injury from the accident, then transported to the Chippewa County Jail, where he was booked on a charge of attempted murder.

District Attorney Jon Theisen said a drunk driving charge is pending in the case.

McCabe apparently has some mental health issues. He has bipolar disorder and is on a number of medications, including anti-depressants, according to statements made by a public defender at the bond hearing Monday.

McCabe is on probation from a Clark County motor vehicle theft conviction, and could have his probation revoked as a result of the new incident.

Should McCabe post the $25,000 cash bail and be released from the probation hold, he is under court order not to be on the premises of the Romeis Apartments.