An East Cocalico Township man went into an “act of rage” after he ran out of beer, strangling a woman and threatening to kill her when she refused to buy him more, according to East Cocalico Township police.
Shannon Lee Vanvolkenburg, 47, was charged with strangulation, simple assault, terroristic threats and harassment.
Vanvolkenburg told the woman he was “going to die if he couldn’t get any more to drink” after she refused to buy him more alcohol when he ran out of beer at his residence in the first block of Pine Drive around 6 p.m. on July 23, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Vanvolkenburg then told the woman that “if he was going to die, so was she.”
Vanvolkenburg shoved the woman to the ground, then began punching her in the face and ribs “in an act of rage,” police said. He then mounted the woman, preventing her from standing, and began choking her to the point where she could not breathe while continuing to make threats of killing her, police said.
The woman, who later told investigators she feared for her life, scratched and poked Vanvolkenburg in his eyes to get him off of her, according to the affidavit. She then called a friend and ran to their car when they arrived.
Investigators spoke with the woman several hours later at Ephrata Community Hospital, where she told police she had refused to get Vanvolkenburg more alcohol because she believed he had drank enough for the evening, adding that he was “too drunk to walk.”
The woman sustained bruises and other visible injuries to her face and body, the extent of which were not stated in the affidavit.
Police arrested Vanvolkenburg later that night, according to the affidavit.
Vanvolkenburg is free on $25,000 unsecured bail, court records show. He will face a preliminary hearing before Judge Nancy Hamill on Aug. 5.
Vanvolkenburg previously pleaded guilty to two counts of incest in 2014, to which he was sentenced to three to six years in prison, according to court documents. He was also sentenced to two years of probation in 1997 after pleading guilty to simple assault.