Just weeks before she was randomly attacked by a former Salisbury Township commissioner, Patricia Canzano was running in 5-kilometer races.
“Now I can barely walk two blocks very slowly,” she told a judge Friday. “The attack was a heinous crime committed by a monster.”
6/3/2009 FOR THE RECORD (Published Wednesday, June 3, 2009) Patricia Canzano said she took part in 5-kilometer racewalks before being attacked Dec. 1, 2006, by former Salisbury Commissioner Rodger Schmoyer Jr. and although she had trouble walking in the days following the attack, she has no difficulties walking now. Also, Canzano said Schmoyer had “crazed eyes and a blank look on his face” when he attacked her. Incorrect information was written in an article Saturday.
Canzano, 65, says she’s sometimes too frightened to leave her house and sobs and shakes uncontrollably at times recalling the Dec. 1, 2006, attack by former Salisbury Commissioner Rodger Schmoyer Jr.
“Since the attack, Pat hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep even with sleep aids. Terror has incapacitated her,” said her husband, John Canzano. “Only sporadically do I see the same woman I saw before Dec. 1, 2006.”
After hearing testimony from family members of Canzano and friends of Schmoyer who say they were shocked to hear that a man they knew as mild-mannered and caring committed the act, Lehigh County President Judge William H. Platt sentenced Schmoyer to one year minus a day to two years minus a day in Lehigh County Prison. By shaving days, Platt allowed Schmoyer to serve his time in a county prison. The judge said Schmoyer, who has no prior criminal record, “would not survive” in state prison, which generally houses more violent prisoners.
Platt also sentenced Schmoyer to eight years’ probation following his prison time. The judge ordered him to pay an undetermined amount of restitution for medical and dental bills and to pay the costs of the psychological treatment Canzano has undergone.
“I still don’t understand why it happened and I never will,” the judge said.
Schmoyer, 58, couldn’t say why he attacked Canzano after she requested dry cleaning at Schmoyer’s family business on the day he was closing the shop.
“I’m sorry to everybody,” Schmoyer said. “I don’t know what happened and I’m really sorry.…I’m really ashamed.”
The attack occurred when Canzano, then 63, went to Schmoyer’s Dry Cleaning at 1911 S. Bradford St. in the township to get two pairs of trousers cleaned. She had been a customer for eight years, but didn’t know him outside the business.
Canzano said that after she and Schmoyer briefly talked about the store closing, he lunged at her, pushed her to the floor and jumped on top of her. Schmoyer was 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 260 pounds at the time. Canzano weighed 140 pounds and stood 5 feet 4.
Canzano recalled Friday that Canzano had “crazed eyes and a blank look on his face.” Canzano said she screamed and tried to hit Schmoyer with her keys. Schmoyer tried to shove a rag into her mouth and attempted to bind her wrists. Canzano said she had an “out-of-body experience” in which she was looking down at herself lying in a pool of blood.
Lance Conrad, a man who heard the screams, told police he entered the store and saw Schmoyer pinning Canzano to the floor. Conrad left to go home to get a bat and planned to return to the store. Canzano said Schmoyer eventually freed her and she ran away.