Helen Staudinger, a 92-year-old Florida woman who’s being described by the unkind media as “love-starved,” went after her 53-year-old neighbor Dwight Bettner’s house with a gun when he refused to kiss her, or so the story goes. But is this your typical case of a lonely older woman being jilted by a younger man ending in gunfire? Perhaps not. Let’s examine the facts!
According to Ocala.com, which offers up a 3-page recounting of the incident that’s very nearly Shakespearean,
Helen B. Staudinger said her relationship with the 53-year-old man soured because of his “lies” and that he was not “paying his way” when they dined out.
She also mentioned that Bettner was a “smooth talker” and that she’d frequently told him of her fondness for him. But despite that, he had “a number of girlfriends coming and going from his residence.”
Bettner, for his part, said they’ve only been out together for dinner once, that Staudinger, who offered to pay, has once cooked dinner or breakfast for him, and that he had given her a kiss on the cheek just “trying to be nice to her.” Other than that, he’s “repeatedly ignored the woman’s advances,” possibly because “Staudinger has cursed at him and once attempted to strangle a woman she thought was having an affair with him.”
The tenuous friendship, it seems, is now over. On Monday evening, after Staudinger was denied a kiss, she returned home, grabbed her semiautomatic, and fired four shots at Bettner’s house. She had bad aim.
Initially, she had planned to shoot Bettner’s car “that he loved so much” but missed and hit his house, according to the police report.
She didn’t hurt him, and only wounded a window. (Still, it was plenty scary!) She was then arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and shooting at a dwelling.
Staudinger has since been forbidden any contact with Bettner — and, in fact, the judge stipulated that if Bettner’s residence is within 500 feet of her home, she is not even allowed to return home — nor is she allowed to have any firearms or ammunition.
Bettner, for the record, claims that he has a girlfriend. What an asshole.