Elderly woman attacked during burglary in NW D.C.

Through a thick wall of bamboo, you can see the basement window where a burglar got into the house in the 3500 block of McKinley Street in NW.

The 81-year-old woman who lives here was home at around 12:30 Wednesday when the man broke in and attacked her. According to police this mailman found her on her front porch beaten and confused.

Authorities have arrested a suspect in the case, Tyran McElrath, 18.

Neighbor Milton Kotler saw the victim just after the attack.

“She was injured,” Kotler says. “She had a bruise and a bump on her forehead.”

He says she was disoriented and needed to be taken to the hospital. He wonders if her disabilities may have led to her being victimized.

“She's an easy victim,” Kotler says. “She walks to Connecticut Avenue so someone may have followed her and she's evidently not able to defend herself because she is old, weak frail.”

Police were investigating whether there were any similar attacks in this upper Northwest neighborhood.

“It's a heinous crime. It's a violation,” says MPD Commander George Kucik. “The person who did this is a coward. The woman is 81-years-old. That's enough said. She's 81-years-old and someone assaulted her in her own home.”

This neighbor says she is always conscious of whether her home would be an easy target for a burglar.

“I try to clear the windows, lighting is very important,” says NW resident Markie Hunsiker. “I have a light sensor on my driveway. You gotta be careful.“