Suspect in severe beating, robbery served time in prison - WNEM TV 5

Suspect in severe beating, robbery served time in prison

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Source: Saginaw Police Department Source: Saginaw Police Department
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Police believe a man who attacked and severely beat a woman is in custody.

The attack happened about 9:42 a.m. on Feb. 6 at 100 S. Jefferson, Suite 401 in Saginaw.

Investigators said a 65-year-old woman, who works inside the building, was robbed of her purse and severely beaten.

The victim was taken to Covenant by ambulance and later airlifted to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. At last check she was in stable condition.

A coworker of the victim, who didn’t want to be identified, spoke with TV5 about the woman who was attacked.

“She was able to speak, so I was glad for that. But she went through a lot. It was very tragic," the coworker said.

Saginaw Det. Sgt. Matthew Gerow said the victim was able to speak with detectives and give a brief statement.

She told detectives she was attacked from behind. She suffered injuries to her head and face, and had multiple fractures.

Police said the suspect was taken into custody at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 in the emergency room at Covenant Hospital. He was there seeking mental health treatment.

Officials also told TV5 the suspect has prior convictions and served at least 12 years in prison for offenses such as car theft. None of the crimes were against people.

The victim's coworker said the victim is well liked.

“Many people know her. And she’s just a wonderful person, and she did not deserve this," the coworker said.

Police later found the victim’s purse in a nearby dumpster, Gerow said.

Surveillance footage from nearby businesses shows a male suspect exiting the elevator and walking into suite 401.

>>Watch: Suspect in beating, robbery caught on camera<<

>>Watch: Suspect in beating, robbery exits elevator<<

>>Watch: Suspect caught on camera at St. Mary's Hospital<<

Less than five minutes later, the man left the suite and entered the elevator carrying the woman’s purse.

The suspect was wearing a tan Carhart jacket in the video, which was also found inside the same dumpster as the victim’s purse, Gerow said.

The jacket also had blood on it, according to police.

Another surveillance video shows the suspect enter St. Mary’s Hospital after the assault. He was not wearing the same jacket.

“This is one of those where it’s sticking with police officers and detectives. It hits you in your core. You know people shouldn’t be afraid to come to work,” Gerow told TV5.

Saginaw Police credit SPD Patrol and the Detective Bureau, MDOC, MSP, Saginaw County Sheriff Dept. Media outlets and everyone who viewed and shared the social media post.

"I guess we're relieved that someone has been apprehended. We're hoping that he's the right guy," said Doug Kueffner, part owner of the Jefferson One building in Saginaw. "I've worked in Saginaw for 40 years and I've never had anything like this happen. So it's a complete shock to us."

New measures are in place at the building to protect everyone inside.

"We've got the building locked up. We're investigating security systems and just trying to make it safe and secure for all of our employees and our tenants," Kueffner said.

Police said the suspect would frequent the first floor of the building, often getting financial support from an agency serving mental health clients.

Police said robbery was the motive behind the assault, but they don't know why the suspect chose the fourth floor.

As for Kueffner, he is thankful the community stepped up to help take a violent man off the street.

"I really appreciate whoever it was that tipped the police off because unfortunately, one person can really destroy and image of a town in a second," Kueffner said.

The suspect is expected to be arraigned on Feb. 9.

If you have any information about this incident call D/Sgt. Matthew Gerow at 989-759-1251 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the victim, Kathy Rogers.

In their plea for help, the victim's family said she remains in intensive care and is unable to see out of one eye. Her family also said her blood pressure sometimes drops dangerously low, her jaw is broken and she is facing surgeries to put metal plates in her face.

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