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Cape Coral woman nearly killed by husband

A Cape Coral man tried to drown his wife in their swimming pool over the weekend, but she got away and ran to a neighbor for help.

Wolfram Geiger is behind bars — and he could get off easier than you’d think.

ABC7 spoke to the couple’s neighbors about the violent attack next door.

Geiger and his wife are both from Germany but own a home on SW 8th Place, where the incident happened Saturday evening.

“I saw a couple police cars pull up to the property across the street. I did see the police talk to the individual outside,” said neighbor Steve Miller.

Geiger walked out of his home and voluntarily surrendered to police.

“It really breaks my heart to hear that someone would do that to someone else,” said another neighbor, Olivia Dallacosta.

Officers say Geiger pushed his wife into their pool, broke her nose, and held her underwater by her neck.

“That kind of action is not acceptable in Cape Coral or anywhere in the United States or the world,” Miller said.

The woman was soaking wet, bleeding and bruised, but managed to get away and ran to a neighbor for help.

“Anytime a woman gets taken advantage of like that, it just pulls at my heartstrings. It’s just terrible,” Miller said.

Geiger was charged with battery by strangulation, a felony, but a less severe charge than attempted murder.

Neighbors who saw it unfold are baffled by that determination.

“That, in my opinion, needs to be attempted murder. I mean that’s absolutely not right; man, woman, even animals, that’s not right,” Miller said.

“I don’t think it’s fair in my opinion because I think if you’re that close to killing someone… she was underwater; obviously you can’t breathe underwater,” Dallacosta said.

Criminal defense attorneys ABC7 spoke with say the State Attorney’s Office could decide to up Geiger’s charge to attempted murder, but they would have to prove that he intended to kill his wife.

Heavy redactions from the police report make it hard to determine exactly what happened.

Geiger is not a United States citizen, but he’ll face a Lee County judge June 26.

He was still behind bars Wednesday night on a $10,000 bond.

Get More: Domestic violence

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people every minute are physically abused by a partner in America.

One in three women and one in four men have been victims of violence by a partner.

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ABC-7 | WZVN

Small business in Fort Myers receives bomb threat

Scammers threatened to blow up an entire block in Lee County in an effort to con a Fort Myers business out of $25,000.

Deputies say it’s part of a nationwide hoax.

The office at RV Kountry on Orange River Boulevard got a terrifying fax message stating there were explosives all over the business, and the only way to save themselves was to pay up.

Dennis Erb sells top of the line motorhomes at the family-owned business that has been operating for more than 50 years. 

But Tuesday, the small business was threatened with a big bomb. 

Erb says a note came through the fax machine, stating they had one day to pay $25,000 or else.

“It said that they were going to blow up the block, that they placed explosives around the building,” Erb said.

The letter went on to say not to contact law enforcement and that their building was tapped and hacked.

“Our phones, internet, emails, everything.”

Terrified employees reported the message to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

“You have to take everything serious,” Erb said.

Investigators tell ABC7 the bomb hoax is a new low for scammers, trying to scare people into handing over cash. The intelligence unit tells deputies they have seen the threat in several places across the United States.

“They’re running out of ideas,” Erb said.

He says he has seen plenty of scams but nothing this aggressive, and the person knew exactly what they were doing. 

“The grammar, everything was… Normally the grammar is all screwed up.”

Erb just wants to go back to work, confident the scammer will get caught.

“We just want to sell motorhomes. We don’t need no stinking bomb threats.”

Deputies took that threatening letter into evidence. They say they’re treating the whole thing as a hoax.

At this point, it’s unclear who is behind the string of threats.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Scammers to business: Give us $25K or bomb will explode

Scammers threatened to blow up an entire block in Lee County in an effort to con a Fort Myers business out of $25,000.

Deputies say it’s part of a nationwide hoax.

The office at RV Kountry on Orange River Boulevard got a terrifying fax message stating there were explosives all over the business, and the only way to save themselves was to pay up.

Dennis Erb sells top of the line motorhomes at the family-owned business that has been operating for more than 50 years. 

But Tuesday, the small business was threatened with a big bomb. 

Erb says a note came through the fax machine, stating they had one day to pay $25,000 or else.

“It said that they were going to blow up the block, that they placed explosives around the building,” Erb said.

The letter went on to say not to contact law enforcement and that their building was tapped and hacked.

“Our phones, internet, emails, everything.”

Terrified employees reported the message to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

“You have to take everything serious,” Erb said.

Investigators tell NBC2 the bomb hoax is a new low for scammers, trying to scare people into handing over cash. The intelligence unit tells deputies they have seen the threat in several places across the United States.

“They’re running out of ideas,” Erb said.

He says he has seen plenty of scams but nothing this aggressive, and the person knew exactly what they were doing. 

“The grammar, everything was… Normally the grammar is all screwed up.”

Erb just wants to go back to work, confident the scammer will get caught.

“We just want to sell motorhomes. We don’t need no stinking bomb threats.”

Deputies took that threatening letter into evidence. They say they’re treating the whole thing as a hoax.

At this point, it’s unclear who is behind the string of threats.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Cape Coral man arrested for trying to drown wife

A Cape Coral man tried to drown his wife in their swimming pool over the weekend, but she got away and ran to a neighbor for help.

Wolfram Geiger is behind bars — and he could get off easier than you’d think.

NBC2 spoke to the couple’s neighbors about the violent attack next door.

Geiger and his wife are both from Germany but own a home on SW 8th Place, where the incident happened Saturday evening.

“I saw a couple police cars pull up to the property across the street. I did see the police talk to the individual outside,” said neighbor Steve Miller.

Geiger walked out of his home and voluntarily surrendered to police.

“It really breaks my heart to hear that someone would do that to someone else,” said another neighbor, Olivia Dallacosta.

Officers say Geiger pushed his wife into their pool, broke her nose, and held her underwater by her neck.

“That kind of action is not acceptable in Cape Coral or anywhere in the United States or the world,” Miller said.

The woman was soaking wet, bleeding and bruised, but managed to get away and ran to a neighbor for help.

“Anytime a woman gets taken advantage of like that, it just pulls at my heartstrings. It’s just terrible,” Miller said.

Geiger was charged with battery by strangulation, a felony, but a less severe charge than attempted murder.

Neighbors who saw it unfold are baffled by that determination.

“That, in my opinion, needs to be attempted murder. I mean that’s absolutely not right; man, woman, even animals, that’s not right,” Miller said.

“I don’t think it’s fair in my opinion because I think if you’re that close to killing someone… she was underwater; obviously you can’t breathe underwater,” Dallacosta said.

Criminal defense attorneys NBC2 spoke with say the State Attorney’s Office could decide to up Geiger’s charge to attempted murder, but they would have to prove that he intended to kill his wife.

Heavy redactions from the police report make it hard to determine exactly what happened.

Geiger is not a United States citizen, but he’ll face a Lee County judge June 26.

He was still behind bars Wednesday night on a $10,000 bond.

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ABC-7 | WZVN

Couple found dead in Naples home

Collier County deputies are investigating after two bodies were found inside a million-dollar Naples home.

Deputies responded to a home in Collier’s Reserve Country Club off Immokalee Road around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The bodies of 74-year-old Michael Bitterman and his 61-year-old wife, Barbara, were shot to death inside their home on Collier’s Reserve Drive.

Investigators say a shotgun was found near the couple’s bodies, indicating that one of the two was likely the shooter.

The case remains under investigation.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

2 found dead in Naples home

Collier County deputies are investigating after two bodies were found inside a million-dollar Naples home.

Deputies responded to a home in Collier’s Reserve Country Club off Immokalee Road around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The bodies of 74-year-old Michael Bitterman and his 61-year-old wife, Barbara, were shot to death inside their home on Collier’s Reserve Drive.

Investigators say a shotgun was found near the couple’s bodies, indicating that one of the two was likely the shooter.

The case remains under investigation.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Alva’s Ross Chastain has busy NASCAR weekend ahead

The weekend is a time when most of us get to relax a little bit.

Ross Chastain has no time to relax.

He will compete in Friday night’s Bar Harbor 200 Presented by Sea Watch International on NASCAR’s Camping World Truck circuit.

On Saturday afternoon, he’ll get back behind the wheel for the OneMain Financial 200 on the Xfinity Series circuit.

Then on Sunday afternoon, it will be a milestone for the 24-year-old Alva native.

Chastain will make his debut on the Monster Energy Series in the AAA 400 Drive for Autism.

Chastain told NBC2 Sports Director Joe Girvan, “It was the right decision to do, and the right time to do it, so it was, once it sank in a little bit that I was on board with it and that this is what we were gonna do it was, you know, obviously excitement and kind of a dream come true.”

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NBC-2 | WBBH

World’s largest airplane is rolled out

CNN — Even if you had been allowed to kick the tires as the world’s largest airplane was rolled out for the first time Wednesday, it might have taken you a while.

Stratolaunch — which is designed to release rockets that will carry satellites into space — has a 385-foot wingspan, features six engines used by the Boeing 747, stands 50 feet tall and can carry more than 500,000 pounds of payload.

And it has those 28 wheels.

The twin-fuselage aircraft, the baby of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, was pulled out of its Mojave Air and Space Port hangar in California to begin fueling tests — the first of many ground tests.

Jean Floyd, Stratolaunch’s chief executive officer, said the goal is to have a launch demonstration as early as 2019.

“Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be actively conducting ground and flight line testing at the Mojave Air and Space Port,” Floyd said in a statement. “This is a first-of-its-kind aircraft, so we’re going to be diligent throughout testing and continue to prioritize the safety of our pilots, crew and staff.”

While the Stratolaunch has the biggest wingspan, the Antonov An-225 is longer. When business mogul Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” lumbered into the air in 1947, the H-4 had an enormous wingspan of 320 feet.

Allen, owner of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, has written about his desire to see more use of low Earth orbit without breaking the bank.

“With aircraft-like operations, our reusable launch platform will significantly reduce the long wait times traditionally experienced between the construction of a satellite and the opportunity to launch it into space,” he wrote last year.

Stratolaunch will take off from a runway. It will fly to the approximate cruising altitude of a commercial airliner before launching a launch vehicle. “As the launch vehicle rockets into orbit, Stratolaunch will fly back to a runway landing for reloading, refueling and reuse,” Allen says.

Allen’s Vulcan Aerospace has worked with aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan’s company, Scaled Composites, on the ambitious project.

The duo collaborated on the launch of SpaceShipOne in 2004.

Allen isn’t the only US billionaire with the dreams and pockets big enough to take on space.

Jeff Bezos, the Amazon CEO, and Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, have distinguished themselves as the must-watch innovators pushing hardest to bring the future to us today.

In late March, SpaceX made history by successfully launching a used rocket into space. And the company plans to fly two customers around the moon in 2018. It’s already delivered satellites and has made resupply trips to the International Space Station.

Like Musk, Bezos wants to reuse rockets to drive down the cost of space travel. But for the time being, Blue Origin is mostly interested in conducting suborbital flights for tourists.

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325-acre brush fire burning in Punta Gorda

Firefighters are battling a 325-acre brush fire in southern Punta Gorda.

The fire was reported shortly before 4 p.m. on Prada Drive off Burnt Store Road, south of Zemel Road, which was closed and has since reopened.

The fire was 75 percent contained late Wednesday.

No structures are threatened at this time.

Florida Forest Service says the fire was caused by lightning.

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ABC-7 | WZVN

Did Kathy Griffin break the law with Trump picture?

CNN has cut ties with Kathy Griffin after she released disturbing photos from a shoot involving a bloody head resembling President Donald Trump.

Now she’s begging for forgiveness.

“I’m just now seeing the reaction of these images. I’m a comic. I crossed the line. I moved the line. Then I crossed it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny,” Griffin said.

Some on social media see the picture as a direct threat against the commander in chief, and they’re calling on the Secret Service to arrest Griffin.

Under United States Code Title 18, Section 871, it is a class E felony to threaten the President of the United States.

The law specifies a threat as “knowingly and willfully mailing or otherwise making any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the president.”

Some would say that’s exactly what Griffin was doing by taking the picture, while others argue she’s protected under the U.S. Constitution.

ABC7 reached out to a local lawyer to find out if he thinks Griffin broke the law.

“No, I don’t. I don’t think she directly threatened the president. I think she’s gonna be covered in the First Amendment as a freedom of expression,” said attorney Lance Dunford.

“In a roundabout way, I think that she can equate this to being some type of art.

While she has not done anything criminally wrong, she’s certainly going to be roasted in the court of public opinion. I’m not condoning what she did. It certainly wasn’t appropriate but was it criminal? No, it’s not criminal.”

The Secret Service is investigating the intent behind Griffin’s picture.

They released a statement saying “each alleged or perceived threat has to be investigated thoroughly, which taxes secret service manpower and resources that could be utilized elsewhere.”