HOUSTON – The Precinct 2 Constable’s Office arrested a 19-year-old man in what deputies are calling a horrific case of elderly abuse.
The teen, who authorities identified as Nicholas Leon McKinnon, is accused of severely injuring his 72-year-old grandmother.
McKinnon is now facing a felony charge of injury to the elderly.
“They could see she was visibly injured, severe trauma to the head,” said Pct. 2 Constable Jerry Garcia.
Garcia said McKinnon was living with his grandmother at her southeast Houston home, and just before 11 p.m. on Jan. 3, he texted his mother to report an “emergency” at the house. McKinnon reportedly gave no specifics, and when neither he nor his grandmother answered repeated phone calls, the teen’s mother dialed 911 to ask for a welfare check.
Garcia said when deputy constables arrived at the home, they found McKinnon with blood on his knuckles.
“He didn’t say anything other than he didn’t mean to hurt her,” said Garcia.
Garcia said deputy constables found McKinnon’s grandmother barricaded in her bedroom.
“She had barricaded herself with a dresser up against the door,” said Garcia.
Garcia said the woman was too stunned to give a statement and remains in the hospital after undergoing surgery. Garcia had no further details on her condition.
He added that it is not clear why the woman was attacked, but there’s no indication of prior violence between McKinnon and his grandmother, and the 19-year-old has no criminal history.
Court records show McKinnon was granted a $5,000 bond, but he remains in the county jail as of Thursday evening.
“Elder abuse is the fastest growing crime in the United States,” said Jackie Pontello, principal program coordinator for Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Elder Justice Program. “In our own caseload, roughly 70% of the perpetrators of the abuse are familial members.”
Pontello said there is help for elderly victims through the Elder Justice Program, everything from navigating the criminal justice system to ensuring future safety.
“We can help the seniors ensure these kinds of violent episodes aren’t what costs them their independence,” said Pontello.
If you know someone who needs help through the Elder Justice Program, call (346) 500-4620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.