Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Elderly Man 'Pistol Whipped' in Upper Merion

Elder abuse is a terrible crime, especially when criminals target elderly strangers.

This week, police are scoping out leads in Upper Merion Township in the hopes of apprehending two suspects who attacked an elderly man on Monday.

The two suspects allegedly broke into the home of an 83-year-old man and stole items from his home. Joseph Petrellis escaped with his life but had to get seventeen stitches and suffered a swollen eye, reports ABC News. They also pistol-whipped him.


They allegedly whipped him in the face and head with a gun. According to the man's account, he opened the door to find two men who subsequently forced their way in.

Once in, they whipped the man and ordered him to the floor. The elderly man was taken to the hospital with cuts to the head and face.

The suspects are described as two men in their 30s and 40s. If caught, they will likely face charges of burglary and assault.

Burglary, larceny and robbery often get confused. Burglary is the crime of entering into a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony inside. Larceny is the felony of taking something that doesn't belong to the taker. Robbery involves the taking of something by physical force or threat of force.

The suspects took a diamond ring and some cash, Petrellis said.

If caught, the suspects may also face charges of assault or aggravated assault, where the offender causes injury by use of a deadly weapon.

While whipping a victim isn't the only way of causing injury with a pistol, the act certainly does constitute assault.

While the suspects may have left their victim with stitches and bruises, the old guy didn't go down without a fight. Petrellis told ABC News that he was "knocking the hell out of the guy."

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