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Charges: 71-Year-Old Strangles Husband, Hits Him With Hammer

Report Says She Even Wiped Excrement On His Face
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 71-year-old Burnsville woman is accused of severely beating and terrorizing her husband, including assaulting him with a hammer and strangling him with a telephone cord.

Sharon Ann Ripka faces charges of terroristic threats (a felony), attempted domestic assault by strangulation and interference with an emergency call (both gross misdemeanors).

According to the criminal complaint, on Feb. 18, Burnsville Police were dispatched to a residence on the 11400 block of Galtier Drive in Burnsville on the report of an assault with a hammer.

Upon arrival, police met with Ripka, who said she was tired of her husband punching and assaulting her, so she hit him with a hammer. Police noticed that her clothing and hands were covered in blood, the complaint said.

After securing Ripka, her husband appeared in the doorway, staggering and covered with blood. He had a blood soaked towel covering the right side of his head and a telephone cord wrapped tightly around his neck.

While tending to the victim, he stated that Ripka “just went nuts” at around 8 a.m. He said Ripka was certain that he had some kind of portable electronic device and that he had been on the Internet. She then allegedly began striking him repeatedly with a telephone when he tried to contact police and then tried to strangle him with the telephone cord.

The victim said he couldn’t remember if he lost consciousness during the incident, but that he remembered Ripka going into the bathroom, coming out with a toilet paper roll and wiping excrement on his face. He said she then struck him in the head with a hammer and “crushed my skull.”

The victim suffered a large contusion to his scalp as a result of the alleged assault. While emergency responders were tending to the victim, he pleaded several times, saying, “I’m going to die” and “she’s killing me.”

The victim also told police that he believes Ripka is mentally ill and has dementia, but hasn’t been formally diagnosed because she refuses to go to the doctor.

Ripka was taken into custody. She chose to remain silent and declined to provide a statement to police, the complaint said.

If convicted of her charges, Ripka could face a potential maximum sentence of seven-and-a-half years in prison.

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