KISSIMMEE — On the day after Thanksgiving, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call from a home on Duxbury Drive. What they saw at the scene was enough to make anyone sick.
A 78-year-old man was lying on the front porch of the home. According to the sheriff’s report, he had been severely beaten. There were injuries all over his face, and his head was bleeding.
The deputies also saw something else as they arrived at the home: a man in his twenties, quickly running from the home.
That man was later arrested, and identified as Justin Robertson, 26. According to the sheriff’s office, the elderly man left lying on the porch is related to Robertson – who deputies say beat the man after an argument.
He now faces serious charges that include attempted murder, robbery, domestic aggravated battery on a person 65 years old or older, domestic battery on a person 65 years old or older, grand theft and resisting arrest without violence. He was booked into the Osceola County Jail.
It happened last Friday around 10:30 a.m., when deputies got a call from the home at Duxbury Drive in Kissimmee, and saw Robertson running from the home when they arrived.
The victim was airlifted to Osceola Regional Medical Center with critical injuries.
Witnesses at the scene who were interviewed by the Osceola deputies say Robertson got involved in what the report calls “a verbal altercation” with the victim.
In her report on the arrest, Twis Lizasuain, public information officer for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, wrote “Robertson then began severely beating the victim before running out of the residence to a neighbor’s house.”
Detectives later interviewed the victim at the hospital. The 78-year-old man told the detectives that on Thanksgiving evening, he had caught Robertson stealing his prescription drugs.
“Earlier the next day, he observed Robertson taking beer and a television out of the residence,” Lizasuain wrote in her report. “When he confronted him, Robertson broke off a table leg and began beating him.”
After assaulting the elderly man, Lizasuain wrote, Robertson “took the victim’s gold necklace and watch. An 88-year old family member attempted to stop Robertson and he pushed her, injuring her wrist. She was treated for minor injuries.”
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs works to monitor potential cases of elder abuse, and works in conjunction with the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Adult Protective Services and the Aging Network to protect disabled adults or elderly people from physical abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Florida residents can report abuse by calling the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). The toll free number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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