Dad NEIL FERGUS has been arrested for stabbing his "estranged" wife in view of 2 of their 3 children. Needless to say, there was a history of domestic violence--the "estrangement" didn't bring it on. He also assaulted the wife's mother in the attack.
New Milford man charged with stabbing wife
Police: Woman attacked in front of her children
By John Pirro
Updated: 11/15/2009 09:51:43 PM EST
NEW MILFORD -- A 41-year-old New Milford man was arrested Saturday after he stabbed his estranged wife outside her home in view of two of the couple's three children, police said.
A police spokesman on Sunday couldn't say whether the two boys, who one neighbor said were about 5 and 7 years old, actually saw their father, Neil Fergus, stab Catherine Fergus, also 41, several times in the upper back and right arm.
But Capt. Michael Mrazik said the assault began inside Catherine Fergus' car in the driveway of the home at 9 Cortland Drive, and the couple's two sons were in the car at the time.
"What they witnessed, I'm not sure," he said.
Catherine Fergus was listed in stable condition at Danbury Hospital on Sunday, according to a hospital spokesman. Neil Fergus, whose current address was unavailable, was being held at New Milford police headquarters on $1 million bond pending an appearance in Bantam Superior Court on Monday morning, police said.
The attack occurred just before 5 p.m., less than two hours after Catherine Fergus returned home after filing a complaint with New Milford police against her husband over a series of harassing telephone calls.
"He called the house more than 50 times," said a woman who identified herself as Catherine Fergus' mother, but declined to give her name. "Her lawyer said that was harassment and she should go to the police."
The couple was in the process of a divorce, and Catherine Fergus, who initiated
the action in Danbury Superior Court in February, had obtained a protective order against him.
Court records indicate that Neil Fergus was charged with disorderly conduct for an incident that occurred in New Milford on Christmas Day, 2008. The case was classified as "family violence" and was referred to a family relations officer.
Neighbors said Neil Fergus moved out of the house several months ago, and her mother moved in to help her daughter take care of the two boys and a daughter, who is about a year old.
"This doesn't surprise us,"' said one neighbor. "Even when she was pregnant, he was screaming at her. Not all the time, but you could hear it."
Mrazik said the officer that Catherine Fergus spoke to had contacted Neil Fergus after his estranged wife left the police department.
"The officer was following up on the complaint," Mrazik said. "At some point in time afterward, he (Neil Fergus) went to the house."
After Catherine Fergus returned home, she put the boys in her car said she was going to take them for something to eat, her mother said.
A few minutes later, "she ran down the driveway, screaming, 'He knifed me. I'm bleeding. Call 911,' " the victim's mother said.
Mrazik said Neil Fergus confronted his wife at the top of the driveway, forced open the driver's door, and began stabbing her.
She ran the about 100 feet to the house and locked the door, but Fergus followed her and began banging on it, her mother said.
"He's a big, strong guy. It was just a matter of time before he got in," she said.
Once inside, Fergus threw his 71-year-old mother-in-law to the floor. She was treated at New Milford Hospital for minor injuries, Mrazik said.
When police arrived, Fergus was back outside with his two sons.
"He called out to the officers," Mrazik said. "He was arrested without a struggle."
Police remained at the house through much of the day Sunday. They were apparently still looking for the weapon that Fergus allegedly used.
"They were on my property this morning," said one resident, Richard Radigan. "The officer said, 'We're looking for a knife. Have you seen a knife?'"‰"
New Milford town records indicate that Catherine Fergus, who works in New York City, purchased the house for just under $360,000 in October 2004.
"It's a very quiet community," said neighbor Janice Killian, who lives across the street from the Fergus home, "They kept to themselves."
Fergus was charged with first-degree assault, third-degree assault on a person over the age of 60, and violation of a protective order.