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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

92-year-old shoots neighbor's house after he refuses to kiss her; woman swooned for 'smooth talker'

A love-starved 92-year-old woman in Florida shot up her neighbor's house after he refused to kiss her, local police said.

Helen Staudinger told police in Marion County that she went over to neighbor Dwight Bettner's house on Monday and refused to leave without a kiss, police said.

The two argued for several minutes before the jilted Staudinger finally stormed back to her home, pulled out a .380 semiautomatic pistol and fired four shots at Bettner's house, police said.

Bettner, 53, said he was on the phone when he heard the shots and that one bullet took out a window and showered him with glass.

"If my head would have been over just a little bit further, (a bullet) probably would have hit me in the back of the head," he told Reuters.

Bettner, a former police officer, told the Ocala Star-Banner newspaper that it wasn't the first time his love-struck neighbor acted out. She once tried to strangle a woman she thought he was dating, he said.

Staudinger told a judge that Bettner was "a smooth talker" with a lot of girlfriends and that she used to cook for him when he first moved into the neighborhood.

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.

The studly ex-cop insisted he never did anything to lead her on.

"I've taken her trash out for her, just neighborly stuff," Bettner said. "I guess she just took that as something else."

"I've got a girlfriend of my own," he added.

Staudinger told police she was a widow with five children. Her husband died in 1982.

She was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and shooting at a dwelling.

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