A 21-year-old man is in custody after lawmen say he attacked an elderly woman inside her home, knocking her to the floor and pouring rubbing alcohol down her throat.
Jefferson County sheriff's deputies were dispatched about 11 a.m. Thursday to the emergency room at UAB West on a report of an assault. Chief Deputy Randy Christian said the attack happened at the home of a 93-old-woman in the 7100 block of Bradford Road in western Jefferson County. Court records indicate the suspect is the victim's grandson, but sheriff's officials declined to confirm because they don't identify victims of crime.
When deputies arrived at the hospital, they learned the elderly victim had come out of her bathroom about 6:30 a.m. and found a masked man standing in the hallway of her home. She asked what he wanted and he demanded money, Christian said.
He then grabbed the woman by the neck, threw her to the floor and punched her in the face several times. He continued to demand money, and asked for her billfold. When she said she didn't know where her billfold was, the assailant poured rubbing alcohol down her throat and punched her in the face again.
He took $200 in cash from her bedroom and fled the home.
Sheriff's detectives identified the suspect as Richard Alexander Coleman, who lived nearby. Deputies arrested him Thursday afternoon.
Coleman is charged with first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary. He is being held in in the Jefferson County Jail with bonds totaling $620,000.
Court records show Coleman already was awaiting trial on at least six charges in unrelated cases of theft of property, burglary and unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle. Those charges came in 2014 and this year.
Coleman was indicted in January 2015 on a first-degree theft charge. According to court records, he used the same victim's debit card without her permission to charge $1,800 and withdraw $3,500.
The victim is shaken and bruised, but is going to be OK. She has since been released from the hospital.
"I'm sure everyone that sees this story will be shocked that someone could be sorry and low enough to do something like that to a 93 year old woman,'' Christian said. "No doubt there is a special place reserved for people capable of that. In fact I'm counting on it."