The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office has reported two violent, unrelated cases of elder abuse within the span of two days.

The first incident occurred at a Copperopolis residence on Sept. 18, when a 72-year-old man reported that the 49-year-old male suspect had argued with him, placed him in a chokehold – nearly causing him to lose consciousness – and punched him several times in the ribs and stomach area.

During an investigation, it was discovered that suspect Eugene Wayne Stephens of Copperopolis had been “verbally and mentally tormenting” the victim for roughly two years and had vandalized an estimated $600 worth of his property, the sheriff’s office stated.

Stephens left the residence prior to deputies’ arrival and has not been located.

The second incident took place at an Arnold residence in the 700 block of Meadow Drive on the morning of Sept. 20. A 74-year-old woman was found visibly injured after 21-year-old suspect Nicholas Andrew Hart reportedly threw an unopened energy drink can at her arm.

Hart, a resident of Arnold, reportedly fled the residence initially but later returned to the scene and was arrested. It was found that there was a valid restraining order protecting the victim from the suspect, and Hart was charged with felony elder abuse and violation of a court order. He was booked into the county jail with bail set at $50,000.

“The Calaveras County Sheriff’s office would like to remind everyone that elder abuse is a serious crime that often goes unreported. Please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (209) 754-6500 or the anonymous tip line at (209) 754-6030 if you know or believe someone is the victim of any type of abuse,” a sheriff’s office press release states.

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