Bloomington police: Teen attacked grandmother, tried to kill her

Teen Charged With Attempted Murder of His 86-Year-Old Grandmother

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A Bloomington teen was arrested on Monday and charged with attempted murder of his grandmother.

It was an alarm from a Life Alert pendant that brought an ambulance crew to the south side Bloomington home of Wilma Wampler, 86, in the 800 block of South Winridge Court.

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EMS personnel responded to the scene. They heard yelling from inside of the house, and they contacted police.

"So Life Alert contacted our ambulance service," said Bloomington Police Captain Steven Kellams. "The ambulance service responded to check on the welfare of the 86-year-old female that had the Life Alert pendant. When they arrived they knocked on the door and heard screaming inside."

When officers arrived, they found a man standing on the front porch and covered in blood. Officers attempted to speak with him, but he immediately began fighting them.

Zachary Emswiller, 19, was taken into custody.

When officers entered the home, they found a woman lying on her bedroom floor covered in blood. She was suffering from a severe beating, and her face and upper body were covered with lacerations and contusions.

The woman told police Emswiller is her grandson, and he attacked her without provocation. She said he beat her with his fists and tried to strangle her. She was transported to IU Methodist Hospital.

"It appears he became enraged and attacked her for no reason," said Kellams.

A man who knows the woman and her grandson said there had been anger brewing between the two, that Emswiller claimed Wampler owed him money and that the elderly woman's house on the quiet street was constantly being visited by a number of young people and raised voices and perhaps even gunfire were occasionally heard.

Emswiller says he didn't know the victim was injured, and he had no explanation as to why she was covered in blood. Emswiller was charged with attempted murder, strangulation and criminal confinement, and he was booked into the Monroe County Jail.

Kellams said that while Emswiller did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of his arrest, mental illness or substance abuse issues were being investigated.

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