MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A man is in custody after sheriff’s deputies say he followed an elderly woman home, beat her with a tire iron and robbed her.
“I choked up and I couldn’t say anything for a minute and I said, 'Thank you Lord. Thank you Lord.'”
That was Patsy Whitten's reaction to finding out the man accused of causing bruises across her body is behind bars. She said Michael Mahone beat her with a tire iron on Friday before taking her ID and $400 she’d just won at the casino.
“It’s like an invasion I’ve never felt, and I knew he meant it when he said he’s coming back.”
Shelby County detectives told WREG Mahone targeted Whitten at Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis.
“He actually watched her," said Chief Deputy Floyd Bonner. "He watched her cash out,"
Chief Deputy Bonner said it was all caught on surveillance video, including video from businesses that show Mahone following Whitten home.
“What we think happened is this was not his first time doing something like this," he said.
He said Mahone goes to casinos about twice a week and was at one in Tunica when he was arrested.
He was already on probation for an attempted bank robbery out of Little Rock. Now he's been charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and coercing a witness since deputies say he told Whitten not to call police or he’d kill her.
“When I’m looking at him, I’m like, 'I still can’t believe you did that to me, but we got you,'" said Whitten.
Mahone is being held on $2 million bond in Tunica.
“I told my husband, I said, 'Wow, I’m worth $2 million to somebody.' He said, 'You’re worth a lot more than that to us.'”
Authorities said this situation is a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings and call police or drive to the closest precinct if you think someone is following you.
They also said no amount of money is worth risking your life and don’t recommend fighting back during these types of incidents.