Modesto man arrested on elder abuse charges

04/19/2013 2:56 PM

04/19/2013 11:57 PM

A Modesto man is in jail on suspicion of punching his elderly relative in the face and breaking the victim’s finger.

The incident started about 2:30 p.m. Thursday when police say Charles Elia, 43, went to his old neighborhood in the 3800 block of Maserati Drive, where a male and a female relative of his live next door to each other. Modesto police Sgt. Rick Applegate said Elia used to live with the female relative but that she had obtained a restraining order against him.

Applegate gave this account of what transpired: Elia first went to the male relative’s home and started kicking down his fence in the back yard. When his 70-year-old relative went to the back yard, Elia punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground and breaking his finger.

Elia then ran next door to his former home and kicked open the front door. The woman who has the restraining order against him was inside.

Elia got an open propane tank, put it in the kitchen and made threats to burn down the house. He left before police arrived, but officers advised the victims to call 911 if he returned.

Four hours later, Elia went back to his former home and somehow got back inside. Police returned to the home and negotiated with Elia, talking to him through an open window for about 30 minutes before he surrendered without further incident.

He was arrested on suspicion of elder abuse, attempted arson, burglary and probation violation.

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