by Alex Lloyd Gross
Domestic violence is no joke. It can be downright terrifying especially when a judge lets your assailant go free with a promise to stay away. That is what happened to a Falls Township woman when she reported Patrick Dando, of Elmwood Avenue, Bensalem Twp after he assaulted her. He got freed on bail, did it again and was set free again. Guess what? he attacked the same woman again for a third time, this time pushing her down concrete steps and chocking her until she passed out.
This entire incident started when Dando was originally charged with strangulation, simple assault, and harassment for attacking the victim in her Falls Township apartment on Aug. 7, 2020. In that assault, Dando grabbed the victim by the neck, threw her onto the bed and covered her mouth and nose to prevent her from screaming. The victim suffered injuries to her neck, chin, cheeks, and lips. Dando was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Joseph P. Falcone, who set bail at $40,000, 10 percent. Dando was able to post bail the next day.
Months later, on Oct. 26, Dando attacked the same woman after she told him she was ending their relationship. Despite her objections, Dando showed up at her apartment and started an argument that got physical when he grabbed her by the neck and threw her to the ground. Dando prevented her from leaving the apartment and took her phone, so she could not call for help. The victim persuaded Dando to let her take the dogs outside to use the bathroom, and she was able to get to her car and flee to the Falls Township Police Station to report the assault. Dando was charged with strangulation, false imprisonment, simple assault, and harassment. Magisterial District Judge Jan Vislosky set his bail at $25,000 unsecured, prompting Assistant District Attorney Katz to file a motion to have his bail revoked, so he could be sent back to jail.
In the newest charges, the victim was found injured inside the laundry room at her apartment complex on March 5, 2021. A Falls Township Police Officer located the victim limping up the stairs from the laundry room with abrasions to both knees, elbows, feet, chest, and face. She also had bruises to her face and neck, which was consistent with being strangled. The victim told police Dando let himself into her apartment and told her he wanted his dog back. Dando was not allowed to have contact with the victim as part of his bail agreement and an emergency protection-from-abuse order the victim obtained after the second assault. Dando started arguing with the victim and backed her into a corner. She repeatedly told him to leave the apartment, but he refused. The victim was able to run out of the apartment and scream for help. As she ran toward the steps leading to the laundry room, Dando grabbed her and threw her down the concrete steps. Once at the bottom of the steps, the victim continued to scream for help and Dando grabbed her throat and covered her mouth and nose until the victim “blacked out,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The victim later discovered that Dando had taken her cellphone and spare key fob to her car. The assaults were investigated by the Falls Township Police Department and Bucks County Detectives and the U.S. Marshals Service assisted in taking him into custody.
The bail revocation hearing for Patrick Dando, 35, of Elmwood Avenue, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 11, 2021 before Common Pleas Judge James M. McMaster.