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Police Arrest Du Pont Walked Out Of Mansion To Fix Heater That Had Been Shut Off By Officers

Mon., Jan. 29, 1996, midnight

Saying he was cold and wanted to repair the boilers that heat his home, John E. du Pont walked out of his house after a 48-hour standoff on Sunday and was arrested by SWAT team members, the police said.

He was charged later with first-degree murder in the slaying of a former Olympic wrestling champion, David Schultz, on Friday and was ordered held without bail in a county prison.

The Delaware County district attorney, Patrick Meehan, said he had not decided to seek the death penalty.

The boilers were shut off on Friday night by police when they restored phone service to the house of du Pont, the 57-year-old chemical company heir and a wrestling benefactor. Du Pont apparently felt cold after a weekend of frigid temperatures and thought the boilers were broken, so he walked out of the home about 3 p.m. and headed toward a greenhouse, where a tunnel entrance leads to the heating system, law enforcement officials said.

When the police realized that du Pont was unarmed, they moved from the woods and walked toward him to make an arrest, Meehan said. When du Pont tried to run back to his house, he was tackled by a Newtown Township police officer and was apprehended without a shot being fired, Meehan said.

“I call that a very successful resolution,” said Mike Mallon, the police chief of Newtown Township.

Du Pont is accused of shooting Schultz three times about 3 p.m. Friday outside the home on the du Pont estate where Schultz lived. He was training on the estate for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Schultz, 36, who won an Olympic gold medal in 1984, lived on the estate with his wife, Nancy, and two children. He also coached the wrestling team that du Pont founded and sponsored, Team Foxcatcher, which trained in a 14,000-foot, $600,000 center at the estate.


 

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