Brutal robbery of man, 91, could bring added time

EVERETT — A 91-year-old man had to be admitted to a rehabilitative care center after being beaten and mugged last month outside a gas station.

Prosecutors say the man was hospitalized at least twice after the Aug. 24 attack and then moved to a special medical center to recover. It was unclear Friday if he was back home.

The suspected assailant, Patrick Hartness, was charged Friday with first-degree robbery. Prosecutors allege that the crime was particularly egregious because of the victim’s age.

The case was charged in a way that opens the door for Hartness to receive a stiffer prison sentence, if convicted.

The 26-year-old is accused of attacking the victim in the middle of the day as the older man walked toward the entrance of a south Everett store to pay for his gas. The victim was holding several hundred dollars in his hand.

Hartness allegedly grabbed the man’s wrist and punched him in the face. The older man was knocked to the ground. Hartness then reportedly snatched the money out of the man’s hand, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Laura Twitchell wrote.

Witnesses reported seeing Hartness run from the gas station to a nearby fast food restaurant. He holed up in a restroom stall. That’s where he stripped out of his shirt and donned his girlfriend’s shirt in an attempt to disguise his appearance, police said.

Officers cornered Hartness in the stall. He was wearing a tight tank top. Police emptied his front pocket, turning up a pair of brass knuckles, drug paraphernalia and a wad of cash. They found his wallet in his back pocket.

A money clip belonging to the victim also was found in the bathroom stall.

At the time of his arrest, Hartness was wanted on warrants for a domestic violence assault and driving with a suspended license. He has previous convictions for auto theft and drug possession.

He was being held in the Snohomish County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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