Elderly lady keeps her cool during home attack – assailant arrested

Eileen van der Schyff

A cowardly attacker got more than he bargained for in Henties Bay on Wednesday, when an elderly lady he attacked in her home ran after him screaming and in doing so put neighbour’s attention on him. The man was arrested shortly thereafter with cash and jewelry in his possession believed to have been stolen from his elderly victim during the attack.

Mrs Daniela van Heerden (75) was no stranger to her attacker. She hired the man for paint work. He entered her home on Wednesday afternoon under the pretense he wanted to ask her about someone’s whereabouts. The man grabbed van Heerden, pulled her into a bedroom where he assaulted her, and all the time demanding cash. He stripped van Heerden of jewellery.
It is suspected van Heerden’s son unbeknown came to his mother’s rescue when he arrived at her house and pulled at the door. The door was locked, but that caught the attacker unaware and he fled.
Van Heerden’s son in the meantime walked across the street to neighbours to inquire of his mother’s whereabouts.
In the meantime, as the attacker fled the house, Mrs Van Heerden allegedly ran after him in her injured state, yelling that she was attacked.
Neighbours who heard the commotion came to her assistance and notified a security company and the police. When members of the police arrived, they searched for the man and came across a suspect whose description of clothing he wore matched that of the attacker.
The suspect denied any involvement in the attack. He also became aggressive and physical with the police. He was promptly arrested. Members of the police searched the man and found a knife and screwdriver on him. During the search they pulled off his shoes and found the cash and jewelry believed to be belonging to van Heerden.
Mrs Van Heerden, her family and neighbours praised the Police, security personnel and also ambulance for the prompt and professional assistance.

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