NEW CASTLE (KDKA) — An Ellwood City man is facing a long list of charges, accused of beating a 71-year-old woman with an aluminum bat last weekend while she was home alone in Lawrence County.

Police say 24-year-old Michael Yesko is facing charges of criminal attempt homicide, burglary, robbery and aggravated assault, among other serious counts in connection with the incident.

He is described as a family friend.

Authorities say it all started when Yesko went to the victim’s home, asked she and her husband for $10 and they said no.

“I have a policy, you don’t pay it back, you don’t get anymore,” said the victim’s husband.

Yesko is accused of later returning to the home while the woman’s husband was out for a walk and hitting her over the head with the bat while she was getting him water, investigators said. She tried to get away, but was allegedly dragged back inside and beaten again.

“So she went to get him a glass, and turned the water on, he hit her in the back of the head with the bat,” the victim’s husband said. “She thought it was a shock.”

The victim’s husband is angry that he continued to beat her even after she cooperated with Yesko.

Yesko got away with $60, as well as the bat. Police say he used the money to buy heroin.

The woman was transferred to Allegheny General Hospital for a brain bleed and other severe injuries, the New Castle News reports. An injury to her left little finger is so severe it may not be able to be saved.

She was released from the hospital this morning.

Meanwhile, investigators say several men were able to detain Yesko nearby until police could get there to arrest him.

Yesko was arraigned Sunday night and is now being held in the Lawrence County Jail on $500,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 14.

Stay with KDKA for Bob Allen’s full report on this developing story.

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