Dale Elmer Edwards, 75, of the Festus area has been charged with two felonies for allegedly beating his neighbor with a metal pipe on Sept. 17, seriously injuring him. The next day Edwards allegedly had a nearly 12-hour standoff with Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputies before he was taken into custody, authorities reported.
At about noon Sept. 17, the neighbor, a 68-year-old man, reportedly confronted Edwards in a cul-de-sac on Ivy Lane west of Festus, claiming he saw Edwards taking pictures of his house. The neighbor said the two began arguing and then Edwards struck him in the midsection with a walking stick. Edwards then allegedly hit his neighbor on the head with a metal pipe, and then while the victim was on the ground, continued to use the pipe to strike him about 20 more times, the probable-cause statement in the case said.
The victim was taken to an area hospital. He had a golf ball-sized bruise on the left side of his forehead, along with numerous other bruises on his back, arms, legs and knees. The next day the victim was moved to the intensive care unit and was intubated and sedated, the report said.
An update on the victim’s condition was not available today (Sept. 22), Sheriff’s Office spokesman Grant Bissell said.
When deputies arrived at the scene of the alleged assault, Edwards was no longer there. At about 9 a.m. Sept. 18, a deputy went to Edwards’ home to further investigate the incident, but no one answered the door or phone calls, Bissell said.
However, at about 11 a.m. that day, a woman called 911 to report Edwards started yelling at her while she was bringing her trash cans in from the end of her driveway, Bissell said.
The woman said Edwards threatened to “do to her what he did to the (other) victim” before authorities arrived, the report said.
When deputies arrived at Edwards’ home for the second time, he again refused to answer his door. He also called 911 and told the dispatcher “if the deputies didn't stop knocking on his door, he would start shooting at them through it,” Bissell said.
The deputies backed away from the house and began the process to apply for warrants. The Sheriff’s Office also issued a “Code Red Alert” for the neighbors in the area to stay in their homes and away from windows. In addition, Sheriff’s Office’s negotiators and SWAT team members were activated and set up near the home, Bissell said.
He said after hours of negotiation, Edwards came out of the home at about 11 p.m. and was arrested without further incident.
Later that day the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Edwards with first-degree assault on a special victim, a class A felony punishable by 10 to 30 years or life in prison, and armed criminal action, an unclassified felony that carries a penalty of at least three years in prison.
Edwards was being held without bond today (Sept. 22) in the Jefferson County Jail.
The Sept. 17 incident reportedly was at least the second time Edwards had a dispute with a neighbor this year, according to authorities.
In February, a woman reportedly confronted Edwards, accusing him of looking into her child’s bedroom window while the child was getting dressed. The woman said Edwards pulled out a gun, pointed it at her and pulled the trigger while they were arguing, the probable-cause statement said.
Edwards told deputies he didn’t point the gun at the woman, but instead pointed up in the air and never pulled the trigger. Authorities took a gun from Edwards, and the gun allegedly was loaded with a bullet in the chamber, the report said.
On Aug. 7, Edwards was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, a class E felony, stemming from the February incident, court records show.
The class E felony carries a penalty of up to four years in prison.