JEFFERSON — A February 2019 trial has been set for a 50-year-old Whitewater man accused of attempting to murder a woman at the Villa Inn Motel in Fort Atkinson.
Mark A. Salgado is charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, substantial battery and kidnapping.
He allegedly pulled a woman into a room at the motel on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. According to the criminal complaint, he struck her in the head and then pulled out a knife, holding it in his hand and pointing it at her.
Salgado told police that he “didn’t try to hurt anyone” in the incident. He has entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
Under state law, defendants can utilize the so-called “insanity defense” if, at the time of the alleged crime or wrongful conduct as a result of a mental disease or defect, the defendant lacked substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness or conform their conduct to the requirements of the law.
Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge William Hue set the trial for Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 20-22, 2019, with a final status conference on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
Salgado faces a maximum of more than 103 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.
According to the criminal complaint, Fort Atkinson police initially were dispatched to investigate a disturbance at the Villa Inn Motel, 1255 Whitewater Ave., around 4:10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. 2018.
The original call was that a male subject staying at the motel had grabbed a woman and tried to drag her into his room.
The woman told police that Salgado had arrived at the motel on Friday, Feb. 23, and rented a room. That afternoon, he dialed the front desk asking for assistance with the coffeemaker in his room.
The complaint states that the woman went to the room and Salgado answered the door. As she looked around the room without entering, she could see the television stand was not in its usual place.
She immediately found that to be suspicious and began to walk away.
She made it about four steps before Salgado allegedly grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the ground.
According to the complaint, she yelled for help and “call the police.”
Ultimately, another woman managed to kick the door open and got the alleged victim out of the room. She told investigators that she observed Salgado stabbing himself in the stomach at that time.
The complaint states that the victim noted that she was not sexually assaulted, but had felt trapped in the room and was certain Salgado was going to kill her had she not run from the room.
Her injuries included a lump over her left eye, bruising around that eye and a severe laceration to her hand from grabbing the blade. She ultimately was transported to Fort Memorial Hospital for treatment.
The complaint states that when the officers announced their presence and directed him to open the door, Salgado responded, “I don’t think so; I have a gun.”
Salgado also reportedly stated that he was not going to hurt anybody and that he was sorry for what happened.
At the conclusion of a four-hour standoff, around 8:30 p.m., SWAT team members breached the door and Salgado was taken into custody.
He had sustained self-inflicted knife wounds, resulting in him being transported to Fort Memorial Hospital and subsequently transferred to UW Hospital in Madison.
Per statements of the alleged victim, Salgado’s wounds reportedly were self-inflicted.
In the aftermath of the incident, Salgado was held for some time at the Mendota Mental Health Institute, in part due to his alleged self-inflicted injuries sustained during the incident.