Two suspects accused of breaking into an 80-year-old man's home and beating the victim with a tire lug wrench pleaded not guilty in court. NBC 7's Steven Luke speaks with Paul Greenwood, head of the DA's Elder Abuse Unit about the importance of keeping an eye on elderly neighbors.
An 80-year-old man was beaten during a violent home invasion in San Carlos Wednesday, according to police.
Officers said two suspects – who were arrested by police in the area a short time later -- rang the doorbell to the man’s home in the 8400 block of Harwell Drive at around 3 p.m.
The victim answered the door and the male suspects forced their way inside, overpowering the resident. The suspects were later identifed in court as Joshua Jett, 23, and Adam Donaldson, 17.
Police told NBC 7 they received an anonymous phone call from someone saying they spotted two suspicious men going door to door in the neighborhood, turning door knobs to see if they were unlocked. The men were also seen using some sort of pry bar to force open a door.
A K-9 officer was sent to the area to check it out, and when he arrived he saw the two suspects leaving the man’s home on Harwell Drive.
The officer released a police dog and was able to arrest Jett and Donaldson. The suspects were armed with a crowbar, police said, and were carrying stolen jewelry.
The elderly resident targeted in the violent home robbery sustained serious head injuries. He was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital and is expected to survive, police said.
The victim told police that the two suspects forced their way into his home, attacked him, stole jewelry and ransacked his home.
The violent assault in the San Carlos neighborhood is extremely disturbing news to residents who live there. Neighbors told NBC 7 the violent incident has rocked them of their sense of security.
“It's scary because we have a very good neighborhood. We have a very safe neighborhood and we didn't think something like this could happen. Unfortunately it's been twice with the month on this street,” said one resident.
According to neighbors, this isn’t the first time the victim’s home has been targeted. They said the man, who also just lost his wife to cancer, was a victim of another burglary a few weeks ago.
Officials said the victim has a broken jaw, and is expected to remain hospitalized for quite some time to recover.
On Friday, the two suspects appeared in court before a judge. Jett and Donaldson both pleaded not guilty to home invasion and assault charges.
Due to the disturbing circumstances surrounding the home invasion, the teenage suspect is being charged as an adult.
According to police, the weapon they allegedly used to beat the 80-year-old resident was a tire lug wrench, which officers discovered at the scene.
In court, the district attorney said that in this assault case, it doesn’t really matter which defendant was actually holding the weapon.
Both Donaldson and Jett said very little at their arraignment Friday. Off camera, their parents told NBC 7 that they were as shocked as anyone else over the violent home invasion allegations.
The charges include robbery, burglary, false imprisonment and physical elder abuse causing serious bodily injury. Jett is also accused of trying to dissuade a witness from reporting a crime.
Jett is scheduled to appear in court again on Dec. 11.
The two defendants face up to nine years in prison if convicted.
Meanwhile, the 80-year-old victim is still in the hospital.
The victim’s family told NBC 7 on Friday that he was supposed to be going into surgery, and is not in good shape.