An attack between two people can be even worse when it's in the family. Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood has been dealing with elder abuse for more than 20 years. He says it's almost the same story every time.
"The one son is the drug addicted, alcohol addicted, gambling addicted, lazy, unemployed and he takes advantage of the enabling mother," said Greenwood. Other times the attacker might not be able to control it.
"That son is mentally ill, he's either been untreated, undiagnosed or refuses to take the medications that have been offered."
The second case is what happened in Mira Mesa Wednesday night. Police say 36-year-old Theodore Guenther Junior used copper pipes to beat his mother in the head nearly 40 times. Nichell Hurley was right next door when it happened.
"I couldn't tell if she was awake or not. Obviously she was beat. She just looked like she was tired. Face was all bloodied and scratched," said Hurley."
Last night's attack that left mother in critical condition at the hospital. Neighbors tell 10News she's had several problems with her son in the past.
"She seemed like she was afraid of him," said Hurley. "Knowing domestic abuse and how that works, she seemed as if she was afraid."
Guenther has previous criminal and domestic violence charges on his record. He's now being charged with attempted murder and is due in court for hearing Friday afternoon.