DEFOREST – Three people were critically injured today when an argument at a rummage sale escalated into chaos. Dane County police arrived on the scene at the 7300 block of Glenwood Drive in DeForest shortly after the fighting ensued. Officers said the aggravated parties involved in the brawl were taken to UW Health East Madison Hospital.
According to reports, Kate Fletcher, 71, laid claim to an antique deer decoy earlier in the day but had not yet paid for the grazing buck. “I told the lady it’s first come, first serve and I don’t do holds,” said homeowner Richard Marks, who was conducting the sale.
“It had been four whole hours. When an interested couple came along, of course I sold it to them. What should I have done? They were right here waiting for me with the cash,” continued Marks. “I was not losing out on $75 on the off chance the lady would come back.”
Pamela Danhauer, 48, and her husband Arnold, 51, arrived at the scene around 4:30. They browsed for approximately 15 minutes prior to deciding on the vintage stag. As they went to pay, Fletcher drove up and began pitching a fit.
“Never seen anything like it in my life,” reported Marks. “The old bag was on a tear and shuffled over at max speed, hurling insults at the couple.” The three bickered loudly, with Mr. Danhauer shouting for Fletcher to “drag her sorry ass back to assisted living”.
The embittered senior threatened to “snuff his pussy ass out with mothballs and good old-fashioned elbow grease” and tried to grab the decoy before clawing at him.
Mrs. Danhauer got in the middle of the scuffle, grabbing a nearby garden flag and rolling it into a makeshift garrote. “I didn’t think I’d ever see someone try to choke out a great grandmother on my lawn,” said Marks, “but that wasn’t even the craziest thing to happen.”
In a burst of energy, Fletcher flipped Mrs. Danhauer over her shoulders where she landed hard on her back – cracking four vertebrae. Fletcher began dragging the younger woman to the curb, yelling that she was going to “curbstomp her Whitefish Bay McMansion-looking ass”.
Mr. Danhauer appeared apprehensive to fight but tried to pry the mad granny off his wife – until she brandished a knife. He got her with a stiff right hook after which Fletcher proceeded to stab Mr. Danhauer with the dull knife fourteen times, nicking an artery.
As Mrs. Danhauer crawled to her husband’s aid, Fletcher kicked her face like a regulation FIFA soccer ball – rendering her out cold. Marks reports the septuagenarian climbed onto the hood of her car and screamed “Mess with a Fletcher, you leave in a stretcher!”
The blade, later reports revealed, had been pocketed from the Hayes Road Perkins Restaurant & Bakery and was identified by residual lemon meringue pie DNA found on the implement. Wisconsin News Today will update as the story develops.
Update: Mr. Danhauer died of his injuries Thursday night. Mrs. Danhauer remains in the intensive care unit. Authorities say Kate Fletcher, treated for minor flag burn and bruising, will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Mary Sweeney reporting.