A 73-year-old woman betrayed by two teenagers she tried to help was rescued by four young adults, including one who chased down the pair who allegedly robbed and beat her.
William Joseph Dexter, 18, of Sacramento was arraigned Tuesday in Sacramento Superior Court on felony charges of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon or instrument and elder abuse. He is being held in Sacramento County jail in lieu of $150,000 bail. His 16-year-old girlfriend is in the Sacramento County juvenile hall, facing the same charges in the Thursday evening attack in the Arden Arcade area. The girl’s name has not been released because she is a juvenile.
The victim is recovering from head injuries, cuts to her hand and possible fractures to her arm, said Sonya Aflleje, one of the woman’s four daughters. Aflleje and two of her sisters attended Tuesday’s arraignment.
Aflleje said her mother was coming out of the Raley’s store at Marconi and Watt avenues about 7 p.m. Thursday when she was approached by a teenage girl who was crying. The girl said her grandfather was ill and she was trying to get a ride to her cousin’s house so she could see him. The woman suggested the girl call her cousin, and loaned the teen her cellphone to make a call and send a text message. When the girl received no response, the woman agreed to give the girl a ride. As they headed to the car, the girl asked if her boyfriend could come, too, and introduced him to the woman.
Aflleje said the two impressed her mother as clean-cut students in need of help. As a precaution, she asked them to pose for a photo, which she took with her cellphone.
The woman drove them into the nearby neighborhood. After she stopped as directed in front of a house on Eastwood Road, the victim felt something hit her in the head. The teens tried to take her purse as they were getting out of the car, according to information released by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, but they were able to get only her cellphone.
The victim tried to drive away but struck two parked cars. The teens took off running, but 25-year-old Cody Hendrix gave chase.
Hendrix, a manager at Walmart, said he was watching television with his fiancée, and his sister and her fiancé at a nearby home when he heard a loud crash. He looked outside and saw that the woman’s car had crashed into the driveway, hitting his Toyota Corolla.
As the woman stumbled out of the vehicle, her head bleeding, Hendrix ran after the two teens while other people called the Sheriff’s Department. Hendrix said he ran, jogged, hopped over fences and ran in and out of an apartment complex during the chase.
He pursued the teens to Del Paso Manor Elementary School, where the two split up. Hendrix said he followed the girl, who sat down on a bench. The boyfriend then threw up his hands and sat down with her, Hendrix said. A sheriff’s deputy arrived and arrested the two.
“It was the right time, the right place, the right people,” Hendrix said of the chase and apprehension of the suspects.
Hendrix’s fiancée, Leah Amavisca, and his sister, Chelsea Jones, both 24, came to the victim’s aid, along with two nurses who live in the neighborhood, Amavisca said.
Aflleje said her mother is eager to let people know what happened to her in the hope that it will help others avoid falling victim to such attacks.
“Mom wants to raise awareness that seniors are being targeted,” Aflleje said.
She said her mother worked for the state Department of Education for 40 years and cares deeply about the welfare of children and teenagers. Her mother thought she was doing a kindness for two young students in need.