Watertown, Wisconsin is the site of an odd and tragic turn of events, leading to the arrest of one man and death of another. Young J. Choi attacked 29-year-old Dustin M. Vanderheyden, killing him and injuring another man while wielding a “decorative sword.” From MWJS:
In the days before the Thursday afternoon attack that killed Dustin M. Vanderheyden, 27, and injured David Gerard, 24, defendant Young J. Choi told Vanderheyden’s wife he wanted her for himself, court documents say.
Choi told the woman “he was going to kill Dustin and that he was going to get a sword and stab him,” the complaint says. The woman, who lived with her husband near Choi in the apartments above Yanger’s Bar, 300 N. 4th St., told police she persuaded Choi not to do it.
“She thought the defendant was fine and there weren’t going to be any issues,” the complaint says.
Things were not alright however and soon Choi attacked. David Gerard attempted to intervene only to find that Choi was not finished:
During the attack, Gerard, also a tenant above the tavern, heard Choi yelling but didn’t go upstairs to investigate until he heard Vanderheyden cry for help, Gerard said in an interview. He saw Choi standing over Vanderheyden holding a small, decorative sword, but it was painted black and Gerard initially thought the weapon was a stick or rod.
“I reached for his hand to try to stop him but he jerked it and he cut me,” Gerard said. “I was just in shock because I didn’t realize it was a blade.” (via)
Police took Choi into custody, charging him with first degree intentional homicide. Neighbors claimed Choi had been making “bizarre statements all week long about being God and that everyone was evil.” This behavior continued once he was in custody:
“What do you want me to tell you? Want me to say I feel bad about it? Are you checking my humanistic nature? Checking all my psychological bounds? Or am I just a ruthless killer?” Choi asked the officer who arrested him, according to the complaint.
Gerard said Choi often had “yelling fits.”
“He’s always challenging or threatening anyone who passes by, or sometimes no one,” Gerard said of Choi. “Sometimes he’s just yelling out his window at nobody.” (via)
This is the second homicide to hit Watertown within a month and the second sword attack in a year for Wisconsin. Choi was being held on $1 million bail and made his first court appearance on Friday.
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