SUITLAND, Md. (WUSA) - Police are finally announcing they've arrested a suspect in a case that disgusted nearly everyone who heard about it:
A now 85-year-old woman, beaten, robbed and left alone in her own apartment, unable to get anyone to help her for more than 24 hours.
Neighbors say the elderly victim is sweet -- but she's also tough. She bit her attacker's hand, terrified that he was trying to suffocate her. Police say blood from the wound finally led them to 56-year-old Rodney William Blanton of Suitland.
"I'm glad he's arrested and she's feeling much better," says LeSean Jackson. She's the neighbor who discovered the victim alone, crying for help on the floor of her Suitland apartment in February. "I was just on my way to work and she was screaming 'Help me, help me!'" says Jackson.
The disabled victim had been unable to get up since the attack, at least a day earlier. "I think it was two days, she was all bruised up, banged up," says Jackson. "What do you think would have happened if you hadn't found her?" I asked her. "I think she would have passed away."
It's taken six months, but police have now arrested Rodney Blanton, and charged him with assault, robbery and theft.
They say he punched his victim in the face and arms, and knocked out her tooth. She may well have provided the crucial piece of evidence that broke the case.
Blanton allegedly fled out the back balcony with 50 bucks, leaving behind a drop of blood. "On August 15, we received confirmation that the DNA belonged to Rodney Blanton." says Prince George's Police Capt. Genia Reaves.
The victim is back in her apartment, too shy to talk to reporters.
But LeSean Jackson says there's a crucial message that should go out to all of us "Look out for each other, that's all we got."
Jackson says the woman asked her not to call police. But she said she just could not leave her alone. So she called 911... and now, finally, an arrest.
Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com