Police: Lewisberry road rage ends inside store with gun, knife, 'monkey fist'

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
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A road-rage encounter between two men ended inside a Lewisberry convenience store with one man pistol-whipping another, who was armed with a "monkey fist" and a knife, according to Fairview Township Police.

Daniel L. Woodruff, 37, of Nebinger Street in Lewisberry, remains free on $25,000 bail, charged with felony aggravated assault, simple assault, false imprisonment, unlawful restraint, disorderly conduct and harassment.

According to charging documents, Woodruff pointed a loaded handgun at Matthew Olstein, took him to the ground and pistol-whipped him about 9:20 a.m. Monday, Feb. 18, at J&L Market, 783 W. Front St.

Olstein, no age or address provided, suffered a large cut on his head that was bleeding badly when officers arrived, documents state.

Driving dispute: Police said Woodruff and Olstein argued inside J&L Market after Woodruff claimed Olstein nearly struck his car as the two men pulled into the store's parking lot.

When officers arrived, Woodruff had Olstein on the ground and was holding him there, documents state.

Both men spoke with officers about what happened, but their accounts differed, police said.

Video surveillance from the store showed Olstein walked into the store first and headed to the counter, police said.

Woodruff walked inside, approached Olstein and the two argued, police said.

'Monkey fist' brandished: Olstein pulled out a monkey fist — also called a slungshot or monkey ball — and swung it around as he "prepares to strike Woodruff with the black paracord ball," documents state.

Known as a slungshot, monkey fist or monkey ball, this weapon is made by wrapping paracord or rope around a metal ball and attaching it to a braid of cord or rope.

A slungshot is a maritime tool consisting of a weight, or "shot," affixed to the end of a long cord, often by being braided or wound into the center of a knot called a "monkey fist," according to Wikipedia.org. It is used to cast line from one location to another, but also can be used as a weapon.

Instead of hitting Woodruff with the device, Olstein lifted up his jacket, then walked away from Woodruff, who told officers Olstein threatened to kill him and lifted his jacket to show Woodruff that he had a knife in his waistband, police said.

That prompted Woodruff to go out to his car, grab his loaded .45-caliber Taurus handgun, return to the store and point the gun at Olstein, charging documents allege.

Tried to leave: Olstein started to leave, but Woodruff pushed him back inside the store, according to police.

Daniel L. Woodruff

Woodruff took Olstein to the ground and started to take "items" away from him, according to documents, which don't specify what those items were.

At that point, Woodruff pistol-whipped Olstein on the side of the head, police allege.

Woodruff claimed he was trying to disarm Olstein and pistol-whipped him to keep Olstein from grabbing his knife, documents state.

Woodruff illegally held Olstein there against his will, according to police allegations, which is the basis for the misdemeanor false imprisonment and unlawful restraint charges.

Police said when they arrived, they found Woodruff's gun had been unloaded and was lying on the floor.

Fairview Township Police were summoned to the scene by a witness who called 911, as well as by the store's cashier distress signal, police said.

Woodruff did not respond to a phone message seeking comment on Thursday, Feb. 21.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.