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Just Back from Open-Heart Surgery, Palm Coast Man Is Accused of Threatening His Wife With a Gun

| May 12, 2017

William J. De Perrio.

William J. De Perrio.

Wednesday evening William J. De Perrio, a 67-year-old resident of Easton Place in Palm Coast, was charged with aggravated assault and domestic violence battery for allegedly pointing a gun at his wife during an argument, hours after returning from the hospital following open-heart surgery.

The alleged victim’s nephew called 911 to report the incident after he got alerted to the situation by the alleged victim’s daughter, who was in the house at the time of the incident. The daughter would later tell deputies that her stepfather had pointed a gun at her mother and threatened, in language laced with the harshest obscenities, to blow her head off if she opened her mouth one more time.

When deputies arrived at the scene the daughter had left the house but the alleged victim was still inside, requiring additional deputies and their setting up a perimeter around the house.

Deputies were getting a “reaction team” ready when the alleged victim walked out of the house, shaking and upset.

A deputy talked to her several times that evening and reported the following, based on her account of the situation: she ‘stated that Billy is a Vietnam veteran and suffers from PTSD,” or post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, 15 percent of current Vietnam veterans are currently diagnosed with PTSD, though the figure is based on a study from the late 1980s. A more recent study found that 11 percent of veterans from that war still suffer from PTSD.

The alleged victim “stated that Billy has been physically and mentally abusive to her throughout their marriage, but she has not reported it to law enforcement before. [She] stated that she has split with Billy on multiple occasions, but always takes him back.”

That same day, she said, he had returned home after open-heart surgery some time beforehand. She had been helping him with his medication. He got upset with her, “grabbed her shoulder then slapped her in the face,” the arrest report states, then warned her to get out or he’d get his gun.

Most of the homicides in Flagler County in the past five years have been a result of domestic incidents and have involved guns readily available.

De Perrio got his gun even as his wife followed him, trying to calm him down, pointed the gun at her head, according to her description of the incident, and aggressively threatened to kill her if she did not get out. He eventually put the gun down. She hid it as he was fetching his medication, then got out and spoke with deputies. She asked not to have her picture taken.

Deputies made contact with De Perrio by phone and PA system. He eventually came out of the house, and because of his health, was held in a rescue unit and taken to Florida Hospital Flagler before getting booked at the county jail. A Taurus .380 with a crimson Trace laser was recovered in the house. It had six rounds in its magazine, none in the chamber.

De Pierro, when he spoke to a deputy, said he remembered nothing about threatening his wife. He said “he is trying to get over things in his mind, but he has never been violent with [his wife] before,” according to the arrest report.

He was booked at the jail shortly after midnight on Thursday and released on $3,000 bond by mid-morning. His arraignment before Circuit Judge Dennis Craig is scheduled for July 10.

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8 Responses for “Just Back from Open-Heart Surgery, Palm Coast Man Is Accused of Threatening His Wife With a Gun”

  1. Richard Smith says:

    Abusive husbands almost always are enabled by their spouse and the abuse continues until either someone is dead or a highly charged situation as this one occurs. Abuse from ANY spouse, man or woman, should be reported immediately otherwise it gets escalated at a later time, case in point. PTSD can be treated and should NOT be used as an excuse to enable abusive situations. Glad that no one was killed THIS time.

  2. palmcoaster says:

    Combination of lack of anger management and after surgery medication. That gun is in the wrong house by now.

  3. The Geode says:

    What a waste of a heart…

  4. Buylocal says:

    Billy did not have the strength and stamina to do what he is accused of.

  5. Brad says:

    The guy in on pain medication, not in his right mind. Should have gone to the hospital not jail…

  6. Lazaruis says:

    I don’t think we should pass judgment on him till we hear from his doctor or therapist . Although it didn’t sound like he was really going to kill anyone if he does have ptsd and seeing a therapist ,I am sure the therapist told him or his family of the dangers of having a gun . Unfortunately people with ptsd most of the time are not under medical health care . A sad fact of our society.
    Ptsd – drugs – guns – don’t mix well .

  7. Brian says:

    This lady is rolling the dice with her life. Someone, in some agency, should strongly suggest that she leave. Not the end of this one, folks.

  8. Anonymous says:

    PTSD Is not a “get-out-of-jail-free card for Domestic violence and/or constituting a threat to others. His wife sounds like she needs some trauma and PTSD services of her own. Hopefully, this man’s “doctors and therapists” are addressing whether he is consuming alcohol on top of his medications. And, if he was previously consuming alcohol or other substances to self-medicate and had to stop abruptly due to his recent operations, whether he is receiving support and treatment for issues related to that as well.

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