Police say Robert Lee Austin punched his wife, who recently lost her leg, repeatedly in the face and attacked her with the walking aid, which broke in the melee on Thursday night.
In a desperate attempt to end the assault, the 32-year-old woman tried to call 911 but her drunk husband apparently snatched away her phone and broke it in the rampage.
After repeated blows, police said, the victim became unconscious and Austin, covered in his wife’s blood, stumbled to a neighbour’s home, telling them he thought he had killed his wife.
The victim, who has not been named, regained consciousness by the time police arrived. She was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Though it is unclear what sparked the vicious abuse, police say Austin was intoxicated at the time.
‘This could have led to a family-violence homicide’
Austin, 38, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment, battery, obstruction of a 911 call and criminal damage to property.
‘The level of violence to this victim is not acceptable to the police or the community,’ Athens-Clarke police Capt. Clarence Holeman told the Athens Banner-Herald.
‘This could have led to a family-violence homicide,’ he added.
Austin was being held without bail and could face additional charges.