SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - San Francisco police are releasing new details about the suspect who is accused of beating a 88-year- old woman and leaving her with severe head injuries.
Police said at a Wednesday news conference that they have video, physical evidence and DNA linking the suspect, now in custody, to the beating, a car jacking and a pair of mobile phone robberies all over an 11-day period.
"What I can say is his actions speak to someone who doesn't value human life much," said San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott in announcing the arrest of 18-year-old Keonte Gathron.
Investigators say DNA from a pair of gloves left at the scene and video evidence links him to the early morning burglary and beating of 88-year-old Yik Oi Huang on January 8th.
"Almost simultaneously to the DNA results that were given to investigators the suspect in this vicious assault and burglary committed some other crimes," said Greg McEachern from the San Francisco Police Department.
Police say they've also linked Gathron to a car jacking on January 16 and a pair of mobile phone robberies just three days later. According to police Gathron snatched a phone from a 14-year-old girl and punched a 17-year-old girl in the face to steal another one.
Police said they were able to track one of those stolen phones to Sunnydale and after a brief foot chase, officers found Gathron hiding in a car.
"Somewhere something went wrong. I mean, who does that? We have an 88-year old grandmother that gets brutally beaten, a 14-year-old child robbed at gunpoint. I mean, very bad things," said Chief Scott.
Earlier this week Huang's family reacted to news of the arrest. "We are happy that the perpetrator has been caught. We are very saddened and heartbroken that he's only an 18-year-old young man," said Sasanna Yee.
President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Norman Yee and some community leaders say the attacks have people on edge and are asking for increased police presence in the Ingleside District.
"I think right now is a moment where, especially with lunar new year coming up, people are still afraid that this might be something that can be repeated," said Yee.
Prosecutors have now charged Gathron with attempted murder, burglary, aggravated assault and elder abuse as well as the mobile phone robberies.
He's due in court Thursday.