A Florida man has been arrested and charged with arson and attempted murder after police say he brutually assaulted a 94-year-old woman he was living with, leaving her for dead after he did so in Longwood, Florida.
Roman Dusk, 65, is not believed to be related to the elderly woman, but according to an arrest affadavit obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, the woman had known him since he was 9 and “raised him like a son.” Dusk had been living with her for a year.
On Thursday, Dusk returned to the victim’s home, apparently intoxicated, per WKMG. He was enraged because he believed the woman did not plan to leave him the house in her will. Why he believed this is unclear.
The woman says Dusk told her, “You are 94 years old, and people shouldn’t live that long,” before launching himself onto her chest, throwing her to the floor and hitting and stomping on her, police told WFTV.
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The woman allegedly attempted to tell Dusk that he was in her will, per WFTV. At the time, she also reportedly told him: “Roman, you have killed me,” police say.
He then went to the stove and lit a piece of paper on fire, according to WKMG.
“I’m going to burn the house down with you in it,” Dusk told the victim before lighting a plant on fire, according to the police report. The fire then spread to a nearby wall.
When she repeated that she was giving him the house in the will and had the documents to prove it, he allegedly put the fire out, disguised the burn marks and then left the house without calling 911, despite her repeated pleas for him to do so, according to the Orlando Political Observer.
According to the victim’s account, it took her two hours to crawl to the phone and call police. The Orlando Sentinel reports that she was bloodied and bruised when deputies arrived. Her left arm was “completely bruised purple from elbow to wrist,” and she is believed to possibly have broken bones and a head injury as well.
WKMG obtained audio of the 911 call the woman made. In it, she described the incident as a “long story” and said she believed her ribs were broken and she was “black and blue.”
Dusk has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, arson, aggravated battery on a person 65 years or older, false imprisonment, destroying evidence and obstructing justice. He is being held without bail.
“It has rocked us to the core,” neighbor Teena Donovan tolf WFTV, who said she has known the victim for 20 years.
“He and she have had a relationship since he was a very small child. What we don’t understand is why someone who is such a caregiver would turn to such violence.”
“I was extremely upset," another neighbor, Candy Palmer, who used to drive the victim to the supermarket told WKMG. “I was crying. It's just disgusting.”