Natrona County Man Arrested for Assault With Pickaxe Near Casper
The president of a homeowner's association was arrested over the weekend after allegedly breaking through a glass patio door and hitting a man with a pickaxe, a shovel and a wooden post.
Wade Curtis Miller, 45, was booked on recommended charges of aggravated assault and unlawful entry. He will likely make his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court at 2 p.m. Monday.
Charging papers say Natrona County Sheriff's deputies responded to a home in the 5000 block of Okeepa -- west of Casper on Highway 220 -- for a report of an assault shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday.
The victim, who lives at the home, said two men came over and knocked on a glass patio door. When the victim got up and walked over to the glass door, he saw both men urinate into a generator gas tank.
The victim said he opened the door to ask what the men were doing, and an argument ensued between the victim and Miller. The victim retreated back inside the home and shut the door.
Miller then allegedly used a pickaxe to smash out the glass of the patio door, started yelling and hit the victim two or three times with the pick axe.
The other man, Seth Zupanik, stood outside and watched the alleged assault, according to an affidavit.
Miller had reportedly stepped inside the home to hit the victim with the pickaxe, and the victim held up his left arm to defend himself. Deputies noticed defensive wounds on the victim's left forearm.
Miller allegedly discarded the pickaxe and picked up a large wooden post, which he then used to hit the victim. The victim was able to grab the post and take it away from Miller, though the victim injured his hand in doing so.
Miller then allegedly grabbed a nearby shovel and used it to hit the victim in the right shin. The victim was also hit on the left side of his head at some point during the alleged attack.
The victim told deputies he had tried to call 911 during the attack, but Miller hit the victim's cell phone out of his hand and broke the phone.
The victim yelled, "I'm gonna get a gun" in an effort to scare Miller and Zupanik into leaving, although the victim didn't have a gun. It worked, and the two men took off.
They reportedly went into a house directly south of the victim's home, saying something to the effect of, "We'll get him in the morning."
Through interviews with a property caretaker, Zupanik and his wife, deputies determined Miller was was the man who assaulted the victim. Deputies arrested Miller shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday and interviewed him about an hour later.
Miller confirmed he was the president of the homeowner's association. He claimed to have received numerous complaints about the owners of the victim's property.
Miller told investigators that Zupanik had invited him over to his house, so Miller went over and the two mutually decided to go to the victim's house.
Court documents say Miller admitted to getting into an argument with the victim, then pulling the victim's shirt over his head, putting him into a headlock and punching the victim twice in the left side of his head.
Miller also allegedly admitted to using a pickaxe to break out the glass patio door and confront the victim again, but denied ever going inside the house.
Miller denied hitting the victim with anything other than his fist. He did say he was right-handed, and investigators noted that the victim's injuries were largely on the left side of his body -- consistent with having been inflicted by a right-handed person.
After he broke out the glass door, Miller said he saw a gun in the victim's waistband, so he and Zupanik left. Miller reportedly described himself as the aggressor.