A man who reportedly broke into a 79-year-old Hillcrest man’s apartment and assaulted him, then stole his electric wheelchair, recently pleaded guilty to charges of elder abuse and robbery.
The perpetrator already had three prior convictions of serious felonies and is expected to be sentenced to 16 years in state prison at his February 3 court appearance. The 55-year-old man allegedly approached the 79-year-old at his apartment on Sixth Avenue just after 3:30 a.m. late last April, shoved him out of his wheelchair and grabbed his cell phone.
The elderly man, who has had one of his legs amputated above knee level, testified in court during preliminary proceedings that he was up because he heard noises while he was heading to the bathroom and saw the man breaking through his window. He says the robber demanded money first, and then the two got into a confrontation. While the robber attempted to make his escape, he ran over the elderly man’s ankles and knees.
The elderly man says the entire situation “really stressed him out” and that he has been “afraid ever since” of another similar incident happening. Police officers ultimately caught the man, still in the wheelchair, several blocks away.
Taking action when elder abuse has occurred
Elder abuse comes in a variety of forms. Although many associate it with neglect and abuse that takes place inside nursing homes, which an unfortunately common occurrence, it can also take place in public or at an elderly person’s private home. When elder abuse occurs, the victim and his or her family members may decide to move ahead with a personal injury claim against those responsible.
To learn more about your legal options if you’re dealing with this difficult issue, meet with the skilled San Diego elder abuse attorneys at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire right away.