The Washington Post

Man arrested in attack on 84-year-old

Police have arrested a Suitland man they say forced his way in to the home of an 84-year-old woman who lived near him, then assaulted and robbed her, authorities said Thursday.

DNA evidence helped detectives link 56-year-old Rodney William Blanton to the February attack in the 4400 block of Arnold Road, authorities said. As she was being assaulted, the 84-year-old woman bit Blanton on the hand, and investigators were able to collect and analyze the blood that he left behind, authorities said.

Blanton, who has been charged with first-degree assault, robbery and other related counts, lived about a mile from the woman in Suitland, according to authorities and online court records. On Feb. 1, police said, he knocked on the woman’s door saying he was a neighbor, then forced his way inside. Blanton assaulted the 84-year-old, took $50 and fled out a balcony — leaving the elderly woman lying wounded on the floor, authorities said.

A neighbor spotted the woman’s door ajar the following day and called police, who found the woman still lying on the ground injured, authorities said.

Police had said previously the woman sustained minor injuries.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.


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