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911 caller saved life of woman being attacked, Burlington Police say

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BURLINGTON — A 61-year-old Delavan man who was arrested Wednesday morning in Burlington was charged Friday with attempted homicide as well as sexual assault and other crimes.

Burlington Police officers reported that they responded to a driveway of a residence on the 100 block of Madison Street at 8:16 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a report of a woman yelling for help. When they arrived, officers said they found a man — Richard “Rick” Lawrence Sallmann — wrapping a jacket around a woman’s head, attempting to suffocate her.

“Officers intervened and stopped the assault,” the BPD said Friday, and Sallmann was arrested soon after fleeing.

The woman’s injuries were described as serious but not life threatening, and she was taken to Aurora Medical Center-Burlington by the Burlington Fire Department.

In a statement, the Burlington Police Department said that the individual who called the police “saved the victim’s life.”

“The victim,” the BPD said, “is recovering and surrounded by family largely due to the efforts of our first responders following this horrific event.”

According to police, the victim did not know Sallmann. “I don’t even know that man,” she told police at the scene, according to a criminal complaint. “I don’t have any idea of who that is.”

As the woman talked to police, Sallmann ran, the complaint states, but the first officer on scene caught up and took him to the ground.

The woman later told police that she had gone out to her car to get something when Sallmann appeared and said “Come here you (expletive) witch,” before he began to choke her and said he was going to kill her while repeatedly calling her a “witch.”

Online court records indicate charges were filed Friday against Sallmann for:

  • Attempted first-degree intentional homicide, a felony.
  • Strangulation and suffocation, a felony.
  • Second-degree sexual assault with use of force, a felony.
  • Battery, a misdemeanor.
  • Resisting or obstructing an officer, misdemeanor.
  • Disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

Sallmann was scheduled to make an initial appearance in court Friday, but he was unable to appear even virtually because “he has fell,” online court records show.

An adjourned initial appearance is now scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave.

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