Litchfield Park Woman, 75, Who Tried to Run Over Neighbor: "My Life Is Almost Over"
Ray Dumas via Flickr
A 75-year-old Litchfield Park woman was arrested on Monday for trying to run over a neighbor with her SUV.
She admitted that she "hated" him and wanted to scare him, court records state.
Last year, Theresa Jean Depiero and neighbor Raymond Mark Colantonio had a squabble after their dogs got into a fight, and Depiero has harbored a grudge ever since.
On Monday, she saw Colantonio walking his dogs on Oregon Court (near Camelback and Citrus roads) about 5:30 p.m. while she was driving by in her full-size black Lincoln Navigator.
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"Upon seeing him, she decided to scare him as he had scared her all these months," a booking sheet says Depiero told deputies.
According to Colantonio and a woman who saw the incident, Depiero stopped her Navigator, opened her door, and began yelling profanity at him.
Theresa Jean Depiero
Colantonio yelled at her to leave him alone and kept walking eastbound on Oregon. He tells New Times he didn't recognize her immediately as the woman with whom he'd had an "altercation" last year.
The SUV swung around and headed straight for the man as Depiero screamed, "I am going to kill you!" records state. "She backed up and drove onto some rocks, while Raymond ran up against a wall."
She got within eight feet of him, she estimates.
He jumped into some landscaping, barely able to pull his two leashed dogs out of the way. Colantonio and his dogs then attempted to escape onto 179th Drive. Depiero backed up, turned, and again forced him off the road into landscaping rocks. He saw the female witness standing outside of her home and told her to call 911, running to her driveway.
Depiero tried and failed to run him down a third time.
"I did have a little concern for my life," Colantonio says. "And also my dogs. On the second try, she just missed (one). An inch more, and I don't even want to know what would've happened."
Colantonio returned to the witnesses' home a little while later when he saw deputies there. He received a few scratches and refused medical treatment.
Depiero was picked up at her home, 18020 West Oregon Court, where she's lived with her husband for the past 10 years.
After being read her rights, Depiero reportedly told deputies she "hated" Colantonio and admitted to chasing him "towards his house. Theresa stated that he had no reason to be on her street."
She said she wished she'd been in a "better mood" when she saw her neighbor.
"I just didn't want to put up with any more shit," Depiero, who's being held Maricopa County jail, later told sheriff's deputies. "You get to the point where you're like, 'Ok, my life is almost over and I just don't want any more shit, I had enough.'"
She was booked on suspicion of one count of aggravated assault. (Which seems fairly lenient, since the booking sheet describes three separate attacks with the Navigator.)
Colantonio says the original altercation on which Depiero seems to have dwelled was also her fault. Her two small dogs "attacked" his two dogs while he was walking them. His dogs were on leashes; hers weren't, he says.
As the dogs fought, "this particular crazed person" fell -- Colantonio didn't want to get into full detail, but says he'd been "trying to prevent her from being hurt."
Monday's booking sheet says "he was accused of assaulting" Depiero. Colantonio recalls that a police report was taken, but neither neighbor was charged in the tiff.
Colantonio says he never had her address and had no idea he was on her street on Monday. Depiero, on the other hand, has ridden out to his driveway in her scooter "multiple times" at night with her dogs, and lets them run up to his fence and antagonize his dogs, he says.
"I hope she gets the help she needs," he adds.
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