A valley woman in her 70s was attacked in her home and now her neighborhood is breathing a sigh of relief after the suspect was taken into custody.
Police say 22-year-old Andrew James Mathieson broke into a house near the Loop 101 and 38th Avenue about 4 a.m. Saturday and brutally beat the victim unconscious. He later stole her car.
When the 76-year-old woman came to almost an hour and a half after the attack, she called 911.
Authorities say Mathieson tried to set the car on fire, but it didn't burn. Thanks to clues left in the vehicle -- an ID -- officers were able to track him down. He also had her credit cards on him when she was arrested, according to police.
"The suspect has admitted his involvement in this, indicating that he was extremely intoxicated at the time, indicating that it was done for the burglary reasons," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump.
The victim was hospitalized with severe injuries.
"She's still in a lot of pain," a family member of the victim told us. "Beat pretty bad, a cut to the left side of her forehead, she was hit with a blunt object I don't know what it was."
Before the attack, neighbors say that Mathieson was walking around the neighborhood knocking on doors and offering to trim peoples' trees -- possibly casing the place.
Mathieson faces numerous possible charges, including aggravated assault, burglary, arson, aggravated DUI and driving with a suspended license. He remains in custody at the 4th Avenue Jail.
Police say he may have also sexually assaulted the victim, but they're still waiting for the DNA test results to come back.
A status conference is scheduled for Dec. 10, followed by a preliminary hearing on Dec. 13.
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