Metro Elderly Man Says Woman Attacked Him After Asking For Money

Tuesday, June 3rd 2014, 11:15 pm

By: News 9

An elderly Oklahoma City man is recovering from injuries he said he suffered at the hands of a woman he tried to help.

It happened at the Towers Apartments near Northwest 9th and Broadway on Saturday evening.

Thomas Tonemah said he never had any problems in 18 years of living there until a woman visiting the apartments asked him for some money. Now, he has a black eye and cuts on his face and arm.

"I'm old, diabetic, and my skin just tears easily," said Tonemah.

The 73-year-old identified Melissa Craine as the one who hurt him in the hallway of the housing authority complex


Surveillance video shows a woman approach Tonemah and ask for $1. Tonemah grabbed a dollar from his apartment and gave it to her. Later, you can see the woman waiting around and when Tonemah returned from visiting a friend, the attack began.

"Then she grabbed my hand and she jerked the keys out of my hand," Tonemah explained. "I'm not young and strong, I'm 73," he added.

The woman in the video hit Tonemah repeatedly in the head and body.

"I couldn't believe it was happening, you know, I guess I could have tried to hit her back, but I wasn't thinking like that, I was just trying to get away from her," Tonemah told News 9.

Eventually, he was able to get away and Oklahoma City Police said that was when Craine went into Tonemah's apartment, possibly looking for things to steal.

"We are somewhat familiar with her from being in the general area as someone who had been arrested before and they found her in a nearby apartment," said OCPD Captain Dexter Nelson.

Tonemah is Kiowa and said the only thing taken from his apartment are some sentimental Native American earrings.

He said the only thing taken from him is his sense of security.

"I thought, it's a good thing I didn't have any type of weapon because I would have tried to kill her," Tonemah explained.

Craine has numerous convictions for assault and battery, including an attack on a corrections officer.

OCPD arrested for on Saturday for assault and battery, robbery and burglary.



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