Weekly Feature

2017-09-14 / Front Page

Town man, 88, accused of hammer attack on wife


Police are seeking a motive after authorities say an 88-year-old resident attacked his wife with a hammer, sending her to Erie County Medical Center with serious injuries.

Martin Turkiewicz stands accused of striking his wife, 86-year-old Rita Turkiewicz, in the head with a hammer on Saturday at Garden Gate Heath Care Facility on Union Road.

The attack caused serious injury to Rita Turkiewicz, who was transported by ambulance to ECMC. She was in serious condition Monday, according to the last update Cheektowaga Assistant Chief of Police Jim Speyer received.

According to police, the man appeared to have brought the hammer to the health care facility, located at 2365 Union Road, between Losson and French roads, where his wife of six decades was undergoing rehabilitation.

After the bludgeoning, police said Martin Turkiewicz walked to the reception desk and told employees he thought he had killed his wife.

While Speyer said the investigation of what happened was straightforward, a motive is still unclear.

“As far as why? That’s the question. Nobody really knows why,” Speyer said Monday, noting that Cheektowaga police had no record of issues or complaints between the Turkiewiczes.

Martin Turkiewicz was arraigned before Cheektowaga Town Judge Paul S. Piotrowski on the charges of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault, according to Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr., who commended CPD members Lt. Kenneth Rusin and Detectives Terence Griffin and James Jenson.

Turkiewicz pleaded not guilty and was remanded to jail without bail. He was scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.

On Monday, Garden Gate released a statement indicating the facility’s administration is cooperating with police and had no other details regarding what it called a “domestic incident.”

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