Cops: 81-year-old man assaulted granddaughter with BB gun

An 81-year-old Chester County man has been charged with assaulting his granddaughter with a BB gun last week, according to court documents.

The 31-year-old victim and her grandfather, Howard Cantler, got in an argument sometime around 6:30 p.m. on May 25 at the home they share in Oxford, police said. The victim, who asked not to be identified, said the fight was over accusations her grandfather made about her husband.

During the course of that fight, Cantler allegedly pulled a BB gun on his granddaughter and hit her on the face with the butt of the gun, causing bleeding and bruising, according to court documents.

The victim went to Jennersville Regional Hospital for her injuries, while her grandfather was arrested and charged with simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and harassment.

The victim said she's been abused by her grandfather for several years. She said he's slapped her in public, sprayed cleaning solution in her face and choked her. She said he was living in a nursing home, but the cost became too great and when he had to choose between paying rent and buying his medications, he moved in to the house she shares with her parents.

"He makes too much money for the state to help him, but he doesn't make enough on his own to be able to afford rent and medicine," she said.

The victim claims she is the only one in the house he physically abuses and she believes it's because she was born with a physical handicap. She said Cantler has the beginning stages of Alzheimer's Disease but she believes he still knows what he is doing and who he is doing it to.

She said on the day her grandfather was arrested, she returned home from the hospital at midnight and the police brought her grandpa back to their house at 12:30 a.m.

"The cop that brought my grandfather back told me my bruises will heal - but what about my emotional state?" she asked. "There's really nothing else I can do. Until somebody gets a phone call that says 'She's dead," no one is going to care."

The victim said she would like to move out, but is finding it difficult because she's on a fixed income.

Despite everything that has happened, the woman said she still doesn't want to see her grandfather thrown out on the street.

"I still love him because he's my grandfather," she said. "But I don't respect him."

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