SCSO searching for suspect who robbed, beat elderly woman with tire iron

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- “I said, 'I cannot believe you’re doing this to a 71-year-old woman' and he said, 'I don’t give a f*** how old you are, I’m going to kill you,' and I really thought he was.”

Bruised and traumatized, Patsy Whitten told WREG's Bridget Chapman about the terrifying encounter she had Friday morning.

She said she was pulling into her driveway in Southeast Shelby County around seven after winning $400 at the casino, and noticed someone behind her.

“I saw the vehicle, but my husband has a friend that drives one that looks like it, so I didn’t think anything about it," she said.

But before she knew it, "He ran up to my truck just as my left foot hit the ground and jerked his jacket back and grabbed this tire tool."

She said the man’s face was covered with a dusk mask.

“I said, 'What are you doing?' And he said, 'Give me the money.' And I tried to tell him I didn’t have it because I really needed it for a bill that was supposed to be paid last week.”

So Whitten said she put up a fight.

“He hit me in the back and in my shoulder back with the tire iron. I got a bruise there. I got a bruise down here.”

She said her ongoing health issues caused her to eventually give up and hand over the money, but she said he also took her and her husband’s IDs from the car and pushed his fingers into her throat.

“I was screaming, 'You’re killing me, you’re killing me,' and he said, 'I’m going to kill you.'”

Whitten said she kept trying to make as much noise as possible and he finally left. By the time her husband came outside, she said the suspect was speeding away down the street.

She described the suspect's car as a gray or silver Chevrolet SUV.

Shelby County Sheriff's detectives said they're investigating this case and going through evidence.

Whitten's hopeful they'll find this person who tested her character.

“I’ve always been a fighter," she said. "I’ve always been the kind of person -- I try to find the good in everybody, even him.”

If you have any information that could help solve this crime, you’re asked to call the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 901-379-7625.