Crime

California Man Faces Up To 12 Years In Jail Following Assault On 75-Year-Old Woman

| by Jordan Smith

A 51-year-old man was taken in to custody in Irvine, California, on Sept. 29 after he was seen attacking a 75-year-old woman outside his home, police said in a news release.

Craig Andrew Ledbetter was found to be naked by police officers who arrived at the scene on the afternoon of Sept. 29, KTLA reported.

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Two neighbors called law enforcement after they intervened to stop Ledbetter’s assault of Sara Hurtado, a 75-year-old grandmother of four.

“This neighbor had come out of the house screaming, naked and attacked her from behind while she was innocently walking our toy poodle,” Hartado’s son-in-law, Neil Fitzsimons, told KTLA.

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Fitzsimons added that Ledbetter kicked and punched Hurtado, before pushing her to the ground.

“Our dog tried to attack him and delay him a little bit,” Fitzsimons added. “He was so annoyed with the dog, he took the dog by the leash and started spinning it around.”

The dog’s collar broke, and it ran away. It was later found and returned to its owners.

“He was kicking, he was hitting ... with all kinds of foul language that I cannot even repeat,” an unidentified witness said.

Two other neighbors called police, and police tasered Ledbetter because he would not obey orders. They then arrested him.

Hartado was taken to a hospital suffering from a broken arm, internal bleeding, a dislocated shoulder and bruises.

“Her eyes are swollen shut. She can't see; she's essentially blind at the moment,” Fitzsimons told ABC 7.

Fitzsimons recently moved to Irvine, believing it to be a safe place to live.

Police spotted Ledbetter earlier in the day and said he was acting strangely.

“He had been acting bizarrely but the officers in their investigation were not able to... they did not have justification to take him into custody at that point,” Lieutenant Bill Whalen of Irvine Police Department said.

Ledbetter faces felony charges of attempted murder, elderly and dependent adult abuse, and battery with serious bodily injury. In addition, misdemeanors against him include animal cruelty, and resisting and obstructing an officer.

Prosecutors are demanding bail for Ledbetter be set at $1 million, OC Weekly reported. If convicted, he could serve up to 12 years in jail.

Sources: KTLA, ABC 7, OC Weekly / Photo credit: Police photo, KTLA