Newark police investigate 2 attacks in same building

Jim Dolan reports an 83-year old man was killed, and an elderly couple robbed and beaten (WABC)
May 12, 2014 8:19:23 PM PDT
Authorities are investigating the murder of an 83-year old man who was found beaten and stabbed in his Newark apartment Saturday, and an attack on a couple in the same building.

The body of Leonard Pearson was found at about 10 p.m. on the floor of his 15th floor Nevada Street apartment. Authorities say the motive may have been robbery.

He apparently lived alone. Neighbors describe him as quiet and say he spent most of his time reading.

The neighbors say they had always felt safe in the building but are now concerned about their own safety.

"It was terrible that something like that had to happen to anybody, especially in the senior building, because we always feel that we would be safe in a place that we live," said neighbor Robert Wooten.

Police are also investigating a robbery and attack on an elderly couple who lives there.

"'I want money and I want gold or I'm going to kill this bleep right now', and he had a big knife around my mother's neck," said the victims' son, Donald Knight.

Knight is still wondering how this could happen to his parents at a building with cameras everywhere, and security supposedly so tight. But it did, and the man who did it was merciless.

"When he hit my mother in the head with the hammer, she collapsed and he started beating my father with the hammer," said Knight.

All this two days before the murder of Pearson.

Police were at the building for much of the day Monday, trying to figure out if the same person is responsible for both crimes. Donald's mother will be OK, but his father is fighting for his life.

"My father was unconscious, he had about fifteen or sixteen holes in his head. They broke his eye socket and fractured his skull," said Knight.

Knight said the attacker was believed to have been carrying a Cablevision ID card that helped him get into the building, even though the building does not offer Cablevision.