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71-year-old robbed, sexually assaulted in home

Posted at 10:06 AM, Jun 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-01 10:06:03-04

At 71, Patricia Artis has lived much of her life in Park Heights; she is a fixture and adopted mother of the 5300 block of Beaufort Avenue, but early Saturday morning with her granddaughter in the other room, she woke up with a knife to her throat and a stranger standing over her bed.

"At that moment, I knew in order to make it through the night I had to be cooperative as I possibly could because I was no longer safe. I was not safe and the utmost thing that I needed to do was to get myself and the baby out in one piece."

So she cooperated.

Artis told the man all dressed in black where the cash was, allowed him to strip her of her jewelry...and then ultimately her decency.

"I said son, I am a 71 year old grandmother and I'm sick. And at that point he exploded. He said my name in Andre something Johnson and I'm sick! …At that point I was absolutely terrified because I am thinking, what idiot tells you his name and leave you alive."

But he did.

On the way out he grabbed the keys to her car and took off. It wasn't more than a few blocks away where he violently wrecked.You can still see the carnage of that crash on Lewiston Avenue.

He was injured and was helped out of the car by a stranger and then took off again. Artis' son wasn't far behind trying to catch him.

"You see I crashed the front of my truck up trying to catch him. My mother, my daughter in the house, minding their business...asleep. To have someone just come in there at your house...it's a frightening thing," said Gary McGlone.

Because he is still out there.

Police have more than enough of a lead with all the blood DNA in the wrecked out car and his mask he left behind. Still, officers will canvass the area tomorrow.

There have been at least three other assaults on elderly here and police aren't ruling out this may be the guy responsible for all of them.

"It's gotta stop,” said Baltimore Police Detective Donny Moses, “you get to a certain point in life where one would think you should be able to relax and kick back, you've earned that right but yet we have these cowards out here -- they are preying on people."

It is a welcome sentiment to Artis who feels police should have been on this suspects trail already, if not for his breaking into a neighbor’s home just 45 minutes before hers.

Still, she and her neighbors are keeping an eye on their streets and back alleys.

"Now people are on alert. If it can happen to me, it can happen to them," Artis said hoping her courage to tell her story makes it impossible for this predator hide.

In addition to canvassing the area tomorrow, police have scheduled a community meeting in the Northwestern District Station to talk about the recent crimes against the elderly.