Law & Justice

Franconia Man Was Kneeling on Wife, Pinning Her Throat, Punching Her Face, Police Say


A Franconia Township man, identified by police as a flight risk due to his connection to Sweden, is facing misdemeanor charges of simple assault, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint with serious bodily injury, harassment and reckless endangerment, after he allegedly beat his wife in the kitchen of their Rising Sun Road home, police said.

Robert Richard Devigili, 53, of the 800 block of Rising Sun Road, was found by police officers allegedly kneeling on top of his wife on their kitchen floor, his left hand pinning her by the throat and punching her repeatedly with his right fist, according to an affidavit.

A preliminary hearing is set for Friday at 10:15 a.m. before District Judge Kenneth Deatelhauser in Souderton.

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At 10:59 p.m., Franconia Township Police responded to a 911 call from a son who said his mother and stepfather were fighting loudly in the kitchen, police said.

Officers arrived at the home as the son came out the front door, crying for police to hurry, police said.

As officers entered the home, they found Devigili allegedly assaulting his wife, police said.

Swelling and bruising was visible on the alleged victim’s face, police said, and scratches were visible on Devigili’s chest.

Police said the domestic dispute had been escalating for a while. Just days prior, Devigili had allegedly promised to kill his son by Monday if he was not sent back to Sweden to live with his biological father, according to the affidavit.

Police said Devigili is a flight risk, as he has a home and works in Sweden. An investigation found that the family was in Pennsylvania for a short time to organize the selling of their home, and had plans to return to Sweden in two weeks.

Devigili’s only other criminal offense in the state is ARD sentencing for a 1998 DUI arrest in Upper Moreland Township, according to court records.

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