Walking from his car to his house after returning from a doctor's appointment, an 84-year-old Oberlin Street resident was beaten and robbed Wednesday afternoon by two young men apparently after his keys and wallet, Buffalo police said.
The attackers got both, but Broadway Station officers made an arrest about an hour later. Charles Henderson, 17, who lives just a few doors away from the victim, was found hiding beneath another neighbor's house on Oberlin, police said.
Police still are looking for the second suspect in the 12:40 p.m. attack, in which the victim was knocked to the ground in his driveway, said Lt. Larry Baehre, a Police Department spokesman.
"The (victim's) wife, who was in the house, saw all of this going on. She called 911," Baehre said.
Before officers arrived, Henderson bound the victim's hands with duct tape, while the other tried to get into the house with keys that were taken from the victim, police said.
The victim's wife, still inside the house, "held them off until police arrived," Baehre said. She held a deadbolt closed, according to reports.
When Officers Lonny Laska and Paul Beilein pulled up, they saw Henderson standing above the victim, punching him, according to police reports. Henderson reportedly took off, and the other suspect ran out of the house.
As officers chased the two through back yards, the suspects split up and fled in opposite directions, officers said.
A loaded 9mm handgun that Henderson allegedly had been carrying was found on a walkway behind the victim's house.
About an hour later, another Oberlin Street resident called police to report that she heard noises in the crawl space beneath her home.
Lt. Mark Marschiello and Larry Pierce, a police photographer who was taking photographs at the crime scene, went to check it out.
After gaining access to the crawl space, police at first shouted for whoever was in there to come out. After getting no response, they threatened the use of a police dog and a chemical agent, according to reports.
There still wasn't a response, so, after hearing rustling beneath the house, Pierce crawled under, assisted by Officers Mark Stribing and Robert Rosenwie. Henderson was spotted against a wall and was placed under arrest.
He still wouldn't budge and refused to show his hands to the officers, who had to struggle with him to get his hands out from under his coat, police said.
Henderson was charged with three counts each of robbery and burglary, two weapons-related charges, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration.
The victim, who suffered injuries to his head and body from being kicked and punched, was taken to Erie County Medical Center for treatment. A report on his condition was not available.