TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Hillsborough County man is on the run Wednesday night after investigators say he beat his 94-year-old grandmother, left her to die and then stole her SUV.
An arrest warrant has been issued for James Mitchell Jr., 54, who lives with his grandmother, the victim, at 7410 52nd Ave. South in Tampa. The warrant is for aggravated battery on person 65 years or older and grand theft of a motor vehicle.
Investigators the suspect he beat his grandmother sometime between 7 p.m. on May 17 and 6:56 a.m. on May 18. She was left on the ground in a semi-conscious state for an unknown amount of time. She is now being treated for severe injuries at an area hospital.
News Channel 8 talked with the victim, Leona Alderman, and her daughter. They told us Alderman is in such bad shape she may not survive.
The daughter, Mary Jane Weigand, made the shocking discovery. “He tried to kill her,” Weigand said. “He tried to choke her, even. She’s got marks all over her neck. I was terrified. I was just very panicky.”
It’s especially tough for Weigand. She’s not only the victim’s daughter, she’s also the accused attacker’s mother.
Weigand said her son has a problem. “Drugs,” she said. “This whole neighborhood is infested with them.”
“I want them to put him where he belongs … back to prison,” she added.
News Channel 8 talked with a neighbor who says he’s known the family for years. “The guy’s kind of strange,” Hank Walker said.
Walker told News Channel 8 he knew something like this would happen. However, he said he didn’t think it would be this bad.
“He’s a nut,” Walker said about the suspect. “You don’t beat on little women like that. He’s a nut.”
Mitchell is believed to be driving his grandmother’s 2001 beige, Infiniti QX4 sport utility vehicle with Florida tag X89 9TT.
He is 5’10” tall, weighs 165 lbs., has a medium build/complexion, brown hair, brown eyes. Investigators say he may have mustache.
If you know where the suspect is, call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 247-8200. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477) or go to http://www.crimestopperstb.com to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward.
WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW:
- WARNING GRAPHIC: School defends ‘cat intestine jump rope’ lesson
- Cops: 4 Florida kids lived without electricity, water: used convenience store bathroom
- Small Polk dog attacked by 5 dogs dies from injuries, cops say naked man let attack happen
- Man held Polk family of 5 hostage for 3 months, deputies say
- Coroner: Fat clots killed mom who traveled to Florida for Brazilian butt-lift
- Cops: Man used cell phone to take upskirt photos at Tampa mall
- Dog thrown from minivan in Pasco dies
- Woman who had nurse shark latch onto arm leaves Florida hospital
- MUG SHOTS: Men charged in Sarasota prostitution sting
- Pasco man’s jeep trashed by thieves, restored by motorcycle group
- Beach Life Hacks: Balloons, baby powder, bread bag clips and more
- Pinellas parents, students, teachers try to save Windsor Prep
- >>Back to the homepage for breaking news and the latest headlines