Arrest made in burglary, attack of 81-year-old woman

Arrest made in burglary, attack of 81-year-old woman

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WASHINGTON -

D.C. Police have made an arrest in the case of a masked burglar who beat up an 81-year-old woman in her home in upper Northwest D.C.

18-year-old Tyran McElrath, of Southeast D.C., has been charged with burglary.

On Wednesday afternoon, just before 1 p.m., a letter carrier discovered a homeowner who appeared beaten and confused just outside the front door of her home on the 3500 block of McKinley Street, NW. The police report filed in the case says an intruder gained entry into the home by breaking out a rear window, and struck the elderly woman in her face and head with his fist. The victim was hospitalized after the attack.

Police say the burglar took an Apple computer from the home.

A neighbor says (and a family member confirmed) that the victim is a retired federal employee. The Russian-born woman worked as a "simultaneous translator" for President Jimmy Carter. She later worked at the Department of Energy. 

Until this week, the victim was described as generally healthy and active, although with limited vision and hearing. Two canes lay across a patio chair on the woman's front porch. Both canes sport highly-reflective tape so that drivers can spot them easier. The elderly woman is said to have frequently walked about in her neighborhood of Chevy Chase in Washington D.C.

According to a neighbor, a man was spotted earlier this week in the backyard of a nearby home on Nebraska Avenue. The person who spotted the man snapped pictures and shared those photos with police.

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