They watched television and dined on ravioli from a can. They sipped Kool-Aid-vodka cocktails. Then, Omaha police said, the 46-year-old man slapped his 90-year-old aunt.
Victim and suspect offered the police various theories on what led to the purple and yellow bruise on the woman's left cheek. Maybe the man was tired after mowing three lawns that day. Or maybe it was the alcohol.
Or, the nephew postulated, astrological dissonance.
The woman, Shirley Peterson, told police that her nephew slapped her on the side of the face while she was wearing gold wire-rim glasses, leaving her with a black eye. He also grabbed her wrist, tearing her thin skin.
In describing the friction with his aunt, Mark A. Peterson told police that he is a Sagittarius, she is a Virgo. They have lived together for about 16 years.
“He stated sometimes they just don't mesh, but they get along,” Detective Denise Cunningham wrote in a police report.
Shirley Peterson told police that her nephew had never previously assaulted her. She said she felt safe and did not want him to move out, police said.
The assault occurred just after midnight on June 16. Mark Peterson had cut his lawn and two others.
Then, he told police, he had two beers and two cocktails; his aunt had three cocktails.
They began to argue.
She told police he was tired “and she probably said something wrong and it upset him.”
Officers said Mark Peterson told them three days later he didn't remember slapping his aunt, who is independent and was alert when she spoke to police.
He was ticketed on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.