ROME, N.Y. (AP) — Nine-year-old twin boys watched in horror as their mother’s fiancee ran down their father with a van at a baseball field over Father’s Day weekend, according to statements to Rome police.
David Connolly, 55, was arraigned Monday on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of 36-year-old Dennis Pike.
“I was very upset because the kids were calling Dennis ‘dad’,” Connolly told police. “I have been raising those kids for the last seven months as if they were my own. I felt like I was reaching my boiling point.
“When I hit Dennis, I could not believe I did it,” Connolly said in his statement to police. “I wanted to scare Dennis and hurt him, but I didn’t want to kill him.”
Linda Potter, the twins’ mother, told police Connolly was jealous of Pike’s relationship with the boys.
“It was like David’s mind flipped today because there was never a problem before, and I can’t understand why his mind flipped like this,” said Potter, 47.
Connolly and Pike had never confronted each other before, Potter said. Potter said she had been with Pike “off and on” for 10 years and had the two boys with him, but they were never married. She started dating Connolly in November and they became engaged at Christmas.
According to statements to police, Pike took his sons to Harry Pinti Field to play baseball Saturday morning. The boys had spent the night with Pike and his girlfriend.
Connolly picked Potter up at work and the two drove to the field, where they found Pike and the twins.
When they arrived at the field, Connolly told Pike he didn’t want the twins hanging out with him, Potter said.
Connolly then threatened Pike with a baseball bat and they started to fight.
Throughout the brawl, the twins were crying as Potter begged the men to stop.
After an exchange of punches, Connolly and the boys got into the van. Pike hit the windshield with the baseball bat and that was when Connolly hit Pike with the van.
“Dennis must have fell and David ran over him again,” Potter said. “I kept telling David that I thought Dennis was under the van and to shut the van off, but David kept going. We had gone a few feet and David stopped the van and backed up. David stopped the van and backed up the van twice during this.”
Connolly worked as an independent delivery person for the Rome Daily Sentinel. Pike was a former building contractor.
Connolly is being held without bail in the Oneida County jail until an appearance Friday in Rome City Court
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