Police in California have taken a man into custody in connection with two unprovoked violent assaults. Both of the victims were elderly women who were attacked while out walking in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. The 34-year-old man has been denied bail and faces felony charges of aggravated assault, elder abuse and battery. He is also accused of violating parole conditions that require him to avoid the area of Jones and Market Streets.

78-year-old woman suffers broken hip

According to a San Francisco Police Department report, the first assault the man has been accused of committing took place on Turk Street on Sept. 15 at approximately 7:30 a.m. Officers responding to the scene arrived to find a 78-year-old woman lying on the sidewalk. They determined that she had been struck on the head. When she was transported to a local hospital, doctors discovered that she had suffered a broken hip as well as a head injury.

Victim’s son pursues attacker

The second assault the man is linked with occurred on Sept. 22 on Jones Street at about 4:16 p.m. The female victim suffered facial injuries. Her son, who was walking with her at the time, pursued the assailant on foot, but he lost sight of him near the intersection of Jones and Golden Gate Streets. Initial reports do not reveal how police connected the man with the assaults, but they do state that he was taken into custody on Sept. 30 after officers observed him standing on Turk Street.

Mental capacity in criminal cases

People in full control of their mental faculties rarely commit violent assaults on complete strangers for no reason. This is why experienced criminal defense law attorneys may seek to have defendants examined by mental health professionals when presented with facts like these. If these examinations reveal serious mental impediments or defects, attorneys could argue that treatment would be more appropriate than criminal sanctions.