A local man broke into an 84-year-old city woman’s home in September, assaulted her and fled with her purse in an apparent random act, authorities said.
Braxton J. Dehart, 20, of Schenectady, now faces one count each of first-degree burglary, second-degree assault and fourth-degree grand larceny, all felonies. Police arrested him Sunday.
Dehart is accused of breaking into the woman’s Clayton Road home just before 9 p.m. Sept. 20, according to papers filed in court.
Once inside, he hit the woman in the back of her head. She suffered a cut that required four staples to close, prosecutor Ramy Louis, of the Schenectady County District Attorney’s office, said.
Louis said the incident appeared to be random. The victim indicated she did not know Dehart.
After hitting her, the attacker grabbed her purse and ran out of the house, Louis said.
Court paperwork indicates DNA evidence helped play a role in leading to Dehart.
The felony assault count is based on the allegations that Dehart caused physical injury to the woman, whose age is over 65. A basic injury assault is increased from a misdemeanor to a felony if the victim is over age 65 and the attacker is more than 10 years younger.
Dehart was initially arrested last month on an apparently unrelated misdemeanor. Rotterdam police charged him Oct. 18 with one count of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.
He is accused in that case of possessing a stolen bicycle on Outer Drive, records show.
Dehart was arraigned on the new charges and ordered held on $40,000 bail. He remained at the Schenectady County Jail Monday evening.
Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, [email protected] or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.