SAN DIEGO - A 20-year-old probationer was back behind bars Friday on suspicion of assaulting a couple of seniors behind an East County strip mall and making a failed attempt to steal their high-mileage pickup truck.
The victims, a 63-year-old man and his 70-year-old wife, were collecting scrap cardboard in the 7000 block of Broadway in Lemon Grove "to help make ends meet" when Wyatt Kirk Bradley of San Diego approached them shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday, said San Diego County sheriff's Sgt. Greg Hampton.
Following a brief conversation during which he gave his first name, Bradley attacked the man and woman, beating them and knocking them to the ground "numerous times," according to Hampton.
Bradley then allegedly stole the keys to the couple's older-model Ford truck and tried in vain to start its engine before fleeing on foot.
The victims, who live in the Encanto area, were taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital for treatment of head and facial cuts, bruises and other injuries. The man was released later in the day, but his wife remained hospitalized Thursday with possible brain trauma, the sergeant said.
Sheriff's investigators identified Bradley as a possible suspect based on the description of the assailant and the name he provided during the crime. The victims separately identified him as the perpetrator when they saw his picture, the sergeant said.
Detectives tracked Bradley down late Thursday morning in the Little Italy district of San Diego, where he had been hired to pick up refuse. He surrendered without incident, Hampton said.
Bradley, a Mount Hope resident, was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of assault, robbery, elder abuse and attempted carjacking. He was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Monday afternoon.