A Maryland man police say was leading his wife around by a dog leash at the York Fair in Pennsylvania was charged with simple assault.
West Manheim Township police filed the charge against 66-year-old Walter W. Wolford, of Hagerstown, on Saturday, according to Penn Live.
Police said Wolford, of Hagerstown, had his wife, Catherine, attached to a red nylon dog leash and yanked the leash, causing her head to jerk back, resulting in red marks around her throat.
Wolford told officers said he only gently tugged on the leash, which he told investigators he used to keep his wife, who suffers from late-stage dementia, from getting lost.
Officer Bradley J. Cleck said in reports that he was called to the York Fair to investigate the incident and saw that Catherine Wolford had red marks on her throat.
He tried to speak to her, but she did not know where she was, or her name, he said.
Walter Wolford told the officer he was embarrassed about the situation. He explained that when the couple visited the fair last year, she had wandered away and was lost for 90 minutes. He said he put her on a leash to prevent that from happening again.
He originally attached the leash to her waist, but it somehow moved up around her neck, he told the officer. He said he had only “gently tugged on the leash so she would stop.”
After consulting with the York Area Agency on Aging and the district attorney’s office, police charged Wolford with simple assault.
He is set for a preliminary hearing Sept. 28.
The York Fair, billed as “America’s First Fair,” is has been held on on the first Friday after Labor Day for more than 250 years.
(Photo: York County Fair from Pennlive.com)