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Beating leads to attempted homicide charges

Mike Heine/The Week

(Published July 30, 2007, 2;54 p.m.)

Gerard W. Petrone Jr. hit another man so hard with nunchuks that it broke one of the sticks over the man's head and left an imprint of the chain on his neck, according to a criminal complaint.

Petrone, 42, of 2711 Tilden Ave., Delavan, was charged Friday with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, burglary, criminal damage to property, criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct.

He is accused of going to the man's house July 14 because his ex-girlfriend was there and he wanted her home, according to the complaint. The two were living together as friends.

When she refused to leave with him, Petrone kicked in the door and began beating the 50-year-old man with nunchuks, a martial arts weapon fashioned from two sticks joined by a chain. The woman, also 50, wrestled it away from him and threw it outside, according to the criminal complaint.

The man ran out the door, but Petrone chased him down, continuing the beating with a broom, according to the complaint.

Petrone said, "I'm going to kill you (expletive)," the man told police.

The woman told police she thought Petrone would have beaten the man to death had she not intervened.

When police arrived, they could barely see the man's face because it was covered in blood. The man received staples for a severe cut to the head and suffered a broken wrist, according to the complaint.

Petrone admitted to police, "I am the one you're looking for. I did it." He turned around and placed his hands behind his back without being asked to do so, the complaint reads.

"I did it. I deserve to go to prison. I couldn't take it anymore. He just pushed me. I just lost it on him," Petrone told police as he was put into a squad.

Police later interviewed him in the squad car, and he again admitted beating the man and said he would do it again. He also kept repeating that he wanted to kill the man and asked the officer to shoot him because he didn't want to go to prison, according to the complaint.

Petrone then stated, "the first chance I get, I'm going to kill as many people as I can before I kill myself," according to the complaint.

Petrone had told police he drank a pint of whiskey before going to the man's town of Delavan residence.

The man and the woman both worked together for an auction company, District Attorney Phil Koss said. The woman was at his house working, according to the complaint.

The woman told police that Petrone had called her earlier in the evening saying she better get home "or else." Petrone told her he wanted sex, according to the complaint.

If convicted, Petrone faces just more than 74 years in prison.

He has a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15.

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