MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A man was arrested and accused of assaulting a 71-year-old woman with a tire iron after following her home from a casino the night before.
The beating happened Friday morning in 71-year-old Patsy Whitten's driveway. She was left with bruises across her body.
Shelby County Sheriff's Office said surveillance video from Southland Park Gaming and Racing showed Michael Mahone followed Whitten out of the casino the night before he attacked her. The next morning, when he attacked Whitten with a tire iron and took her credit cards, driver's license, and $400 in cash.
"I was fighting for my life and he kept telling me he was going to kill me," Whitten said.
Investigators said surveillance video showed Mahone following Whitten out of the West Memphis casino.
"We saw that he followed her when she cashed out, and he followed her to her car in the parking lot," SCSO Deputy Chief Floyd Bonner said.
Mahone was arrested Wednesday morning at Resorts Casino in Tunica.
Deputies said Mahone has a lengthy criminal record. In fact, he was on probation for an attempted bank robbery out of Little Rock, Arkansas, when Whitten's attack occurred.
SCSO is waiting for Mahone to be extradited to Shelby County. He's being held in Tunica County on a $2 million bond.
"I can't stress it enough for you to be aware of your surroundings," Bonner said. "They're also urging us all to call police if you feel you're being followed and to always comply, don't try and fight back."
Our days are filled with multi-tasking, especially as we walk to our cars. We're on the phone, carrying bags, and focused on getting to our next destination. But daily distractions keep people from being alert to others around them - others who may be watching.
"We have to pay better attention. We have to look for our safety. We have to look around us," former law enforcement officer Marti Miller said.
Miller stresses the importance of being aware of the other drives around you.
"Pay attention. Look around you. If you see the same headlights go through a subdivision, go right, go left. If that car is still following you, go and pull into a driveway or pull up along the side of the street and see if it continues to come," Miller said.
If the driver continues to follow you, Miller said it's time to call the police.
She said stay on the line with dispatch and drive straight to the nearest police station. It's a simple move that could save your life.