Elderly woman in coma, 19-year-old charged in beating
A 19-year-old man who allegedly pummeled a woman within inches of her life without apparent provocation could face heightened charges if the victim dies.
The 69-year-old woman is in a coma at Renown Health hospital in Reno. Reportedly, Joshua David Haydon believed the woman shot him a certain look that prompted him to beat her during the afternoon of June 30 along Pioneer Trail near Aspenwald Road, authorities said.
Haydon, a transient whose most recent address was in Grantsville, Utah, was booked into El Dorado County Jail on two charges carrying a bail of $100,000 each: battery causing serious bodily injury and causing injury to an elder or dependent adult.
Haydon is being represented by the public defender’s office. He has entered a not guilty plea.
Haydon and his parents were headed to their motel room at Americana and passed the woman who was off work from the casinos, according to South Lake Tahoe police detective Bryan Kuhlmann.
When the two passed, the attack happened, Kuhlmann said. Haydon’s mother uses a wheelchair and screamed at her son to stop, while his father was across the street looking at a car for sale, Kuhlmann said.
Charges could escalate to murder or manslaughter if the woman dies, prosecutors said.
“She’s in very poor condition,” said Hans Uthe, assistant district attorney with El Dorado County. “We’ll have to assess it when the time comes. Hopefully the time will not come.”
Uthe said Haydon doesn’t have a criminal history in South Lake Tahoe, but his record includes two other instances of attacking people in other areas along with a vandalism charge involving a shopping cart.
Most elder-abuse cases involve physical or financial aspects, mostly with an older person and a caretaker, according to Gloria Mas, a prosecutor with the El Dorado County District Attorney’s elder abuse division.
“He felt she looked at him funny,” Mas said. “He hit her. She fell to the ground. He kicked her several times, I think in the face and head area.”
In addition, Haydon could be suffering from a form of mental illness, officials said.
“His actions suggest there is something not right with him,” Mas said.
Haydon is scheduled to appear in El Dorado County Superior Court for a pre-preliminary hearing next month.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact detective Bryan Kuhlmann at (530) 542-6133.