PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police have charged two men in connection with the home invasion, assault and robbery of a 94-year-old woman in Northeast Philadelphia on Sunday morning. One of the suspects is the victim’s grandson.
Police have charged Christopher Brunkel and Gregory Drobish with robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and conspiracy, among other charges. Drobish is the victim’s grandson.
The incident happened around 10 a.m. Sunday along the 2800 block of Unruh Street in the city’s Mayfair section.
Police say the victim answered a knock at her door, because she thought it was her grandson standing on the other side. Instead, it was Brunkel who forced his way inside the home, threatening her with a syringe.
“As soon as she saw the syringe, she became even more scared,” said Police Lieutenant Michael Scott during a news conference Sunday.
Authorities say the suspect then tied the woman up with duct tape, beat her and stole some of her jewelry. Police say the suspect then fled the home and climbed into a getaway car driven by the victim’s grandson.
Police believe Drobish Brunkel to his grandmother’s home and waited outside as Brunkel acted out the home invasion.
Police say neighbors reported hearing her screaming and saw a man fleeing from her home.
“All of the sudden we heard bump, then ‘help me,’” said neighbor Eva Able.
Investigators say a medical alert necklace that the victim was wearing at the time of the struggle was pulled off, automatically alerting police, who responded immediately.
After gathering information from the victim and a relative, police went to the nearby home of her grandson, where they found him, his friend and the stolen jewelry. The two men were taken into custody.
Both have a history of drug arrests, according to police.
Police say according to the relative and grandmother, Drobish did have a history that created friction with his grandmother.
“In the past, the grandson would come to her for money, several thousands of dollars, and he would never repay it,” said Lt. Scott.
The victim was listed in stable condition at Aria-Frankford Hospital, where she was being treated for facial injuries.