Police: Tenant assaulted senior-citizen landlord with wine bottle

Posted: April 07, 2014

A 77-year-old man is recovering after a "gruesome, violent assault" that left him in critical condition early yesterday, police said.

The man who allegedly assaulted him was being sought by police last night.

About 12:30 a.m., police found the victim inside an apartment on Butler Street near 7th in Hunting Park, Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

He had severe injuries to his head and face, including deep cuts around his mouth and eyes. Emergency-medical personnel took him to Temple University Hospital, where he remained last night in critical but stable condition.

"He was in rough shape," Small said. "When we say 'severe trauma,' we mean it. This was a gruesome, violent assault."

Small said the victim told officers at the scene that a man who rents a room from him in the house smashed him in the face repeatedly with a wine bottle. Remains of a glass bottle were found in the apartment, which was also stained with blood throughout the first and second floors.

The victim declined to tell investigators what sparked the attack, Small said.

Last night, police were looking for Danny Diaz, 33 - who lives with his girlfriend at the address where the attack took place - in connection with the assault.

A police source said the victim identified Diaz as the one who struck him. Diaz is known to frequent the area around a relative's house on Indiana Avenue near Ella Street, police said.

Tipsters should contact East Detectives at 215-686-3243.

- Staff writer David Gambacorta contributed to this report

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