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Ailing woman, 82, sexually attacked Cheektowaga police arrest handyman, 64, described as registered sex offender

A trusted handyman Monday evening attacked and sexually abused an 82-year-old woman recovering from hip surgery, Cheektowaga police said after arresting a suspect in the "cowardly crime."

The woman was struck in the back of the head and dragged into the bedroom of her Roycroft Boulevard home, where her hands were taped, a sock put in her mouth, her mouth taped, and a pillow put over her head, police said. Her attacker then sexually abused her.

Police later arrested Fay M. Holliday, 64, outside his Fennimore Avenue home in Buffalo. He was described as a registered sex offender and a handyman who had done some work for the victim.

"The attack is a particularly heinous, cowardly crime, made worse by the fact that she is an 82-year-old female, and this is someone she trusted," Cheektowaga Capt. James P. Morath said.

The incident began at about 6:30 p.m. Monday, when the woman let her handyman into her home. He asked for a glass of water, and she was attacked while getting it for him.

During the attack, the assailant demanded the woman's money, and police said he found about $700 in cash before fleeing from the home.

The woman managed to free herself enough to call a neighbor, who came over and called police.

The victim told police that she knew her attacker only by the name "Doc" Holliday. Responding police officers then found the suspect's address in her address book. Officers John Wanat, Patrick Chludzinski, Jonathan Ober and David Filipski went to Fennimore Avenue, where the suspect was not home. They later arrested him in his van and recovered the cash, police said.

"This is another example of good police work -- good interaction between our police officers and detectives, along with assistance from neighbors," Morath said.

The victim remained in Erie County Medical Center Tuesday for treatment of head cuts.

The officers charged Holliday with first-degree robbery, assault, sexual abuse and petit larceny. He was sent to the Erie County Holding Center on $100,000 bail.

New York State's Sex Offender Registry lists Holliday as a Level 3 offender convicted of first-degree rape and sodomy.

e-mail: gwarner@buffnews.com

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