KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A 28-year old man has been charged in the beating of an 88-year old Kansas City man.
According to court records, Eric Patton had been to 88-year-old Kenneth Johnson's Kansas City home in the Plaza/Westport Neighborhood to repair a TV and install a refrigerator while working for a Kansas City Rent-A-Center.
Court records allege Patton then quit his job and returned to Johnson's home two weeks later to rob Johnson. In the process, he assaulted him by striking him in the head with his fists.
The assault, according to court records, occurred on Aug. 25. It was another three days before police responded to Johnson's home at 607 West 44th Street, after neighbors called concerned about his well being.
Johnson has not regained consciousness at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, after receiving several staples to the back of his head. Medical personnel told detectives that Johnson's injuries are considered life threatening.
Neighbors are raising money for Johnson's medical bills. Johnson has lived in the Westport community for 52 years.
Neighbor Judy Perry calls him a neighborhood staple, "It just won't be the same if he doesn't come back to live in Plaza Westport. It really won't. He was a part of the fabric of this neighborhood."
Neighbors say the 88-year-old has an enormous heart and was active in the neighborhood association and his church, Saint James Baptist Church.
"That anyone could go into his house and do what that man apparently did to him, It's just unbelievable. It makes you sick to your stomach," Perry added.
The victim's grandson, who lives in Texas, told detectives with the Kansas City Police Department that Johnson's TV, wallet and checkbook were missing from inside the home.
Detectives were able to track the TV's serial number with help from a Rent-A-Center employee. They found the stolen TV from Johnson's home was pawned for $100 at Cash America Pawn Shop at the intersection of Truman and Jackson Streets in Kansas City.
Patton was arrested Friday and admitted to robbing and beating Johnson.
He was charged with two felonies: one for robbery and another for assault.
Rent-A-Center says Patton was an employee with the company until Aug. 3.
Patton worked out of a Rent-A-Center at 3807 Main Street in Kansas City. His main job duties included the delivery of merchandise. Records show Patton had been to Johnson's home twice before, on June 28 to deliver a refrigerator and again on July 11 to service Johnson's television.
Xavier Dominicis, a spokesman for Rent-A-Center headquarters in Plano, Texas, said Patton's actions are clearly contradictory to everything the company stands for and nothing like this has happened in the past.
"Shocking. We will cooperate with law enforcement. The victim has our deepest sympathy. He was a customer of ours. We are clearly concerned," Dominicis said.
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