A 47 year old wife. A 74 year old husband. A .357 magnum, and a snack bar in a bowling alley. This story just reeks of class and sophistication.

Wednesday, a 74-year-old man opened fire on his estranged wife in a Staten Island bowling alley.  Armando Tritto fired at least three shots at Maureen Tritto, 47, as she was preparing to open the snack bar at Rab's Country Lanes in Dongan Hills, NY.

He allegedly walked into the bowling alley armed with a .357 magnum and approached the snack bar, firing two shots at his wife, which missed. She did what every self respecting estranged wife would do, which was hide in a closet. In retrospect, not the greatest of plans, as her angry hubby took another shot through the closet door. That also missed.

He then dropped his revolver and left the premises, driving off in a Ford Fusion. He was arrested nearby, where he complained of chest pains and was taken to a hospital before being charged with attempted assault, criminal use and possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.

I have no idea how fast a 74 year old drives while attempting a getaway. He probably should have turned his left blinker off. That made it easier to spot him.

My favorite part of this story, besides the fact that no one got hurt, were some of the quotes associated with people in it. One customer, 70 year old Arthur White, arrived just after the excitement to find cops everywhere in the bowling alley. He said, “That's when I knew something was wrong. I knew they didn't come in to bowl early in the morning”. So true. Police usually do that in the afternoon, apparently.

According to neighbors, the Tritto’s had recently separated. One of those neighbors offered the best psychological analysis when they said, “I think he had a screw loose in his noodle. I met him once at the bowling alley and he was not a nice guy.”

Now that clears things up. The poor guy had a screw loose in his noodle. And he was not a nice guy. I am glad that neighbor clarified things, as the shooting rampage in a bowling alley snack bar might not have been enough to form an accurate assessment.

I am sure there is more to this story than meets the eye. We have an aging, insecure man, with a much younger wife who works in a hotbed of masculinity and testosterone, surrounded by world class athletes like the American bowler. No wonder his noodle had a loosened screw. The jealousy must have been intense.

If I sound particularly sarcastic, even for me, it is because I have some experience in the bowling business. In my past and sordid history, I was at one time an executive in the corporate offices of a chain of “Recreation Centers”. You may have referred to them as bowling alleys, but WE called them Recreation Centers. Coming from outside the industry, it was sort of a “Dudley Dooright meets Deliverance” arrangement. I can still hear the banjos playing in my head. I could tell you stories that would make you howl.

This story didn't surprise me at all. The bowling industry has unique challenges in keeping its employees safe. An armed old man with a screw loose in his noodle may be a more common threat than you think.


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