A man and his girlfriend from Port Costa were charged with attempted murder and robbery of a 55-year-old woman after allegedly attacking her at her Fremont home upon returning from a San Jose casino. The authorities said the cooperation of the casino and video surveillance helped in solving the case.
The victim went home at 1 a.m. after gambling at the casino. One of the suspects struck her in the back of her head several times with a flashlight, authorities said. The robbers were arrested within 24 hours after the incident and are now booked in Alameda County Jail on charges of robbery and attempted murder.
What started as a fun night for the elderly woman resulted in her head being bashed by the suspects that early morning as she got to her front door. When the victim began wailing, a man with dark clothing approached her and ran off with her purse which contained cash, credit cards, and her identification.
The husband of the victim heard the commotion and briefly chased the assailant, who fled on foot, got into a waiting car and drove off, police said.
Police and paramedics who responded to the scene had the victim transported to a trauma center for medical aid. Upon learning that the victim had just returned from a casino, the investigators contacted establishment and looked at the surveillance footage.
The recordings showed a male who was identified by security officers as Barry Heisner, age 44, as he watched the victim closely and tailing her throughout the casino floor, authorities said. As she left the casino and headed towards the car park, the suspect, Heisner, also went out to follow her.
In a surveillance video obtained from the victim's neighbor, a car had followed the victim to her home and parked several houses away, police said. In the video was the male suspect wearing dark clothing. The man is seen exiting the front passenger seat and walking up towards the victim's driveway. Moments later, the same man is seen fleeing back to the car and then speeded off down Fremont Boulevard.
The investigators narrowed down Heisner's girlfriend, Darlene Marquis, age 45, who owns a 1999 tan-colored Toyota Camry, a car that exactly matches the description of the one being involved in the attack.
Swat officers were able to arrest the couple that night as they were on their way to Pittsburg using their suspected getaway vehicle.
When officers searched Marquis' home in Port Costa, they found a copper Maglite Flashlight which is the weapon believed to have been used in the attack. Also found were the victim's wallet, credit card, and identification card.
Police are now looking if the suspects were involved in similar robberies.