Suspect Charged with Assault and Robbery in Park Point Attack; Victim Remains in Coma
70-year-old Larry Watczak was attacked in his home on January 2nd
DULUTH, Minn. – 30-year-old Darrel Mayhew of Duluth has been officially charged with three felonies in the violent attack of a 70-year-old man taking a nap in his Park Point home.
That man is Larry Watczak who continues to fight for his life in a coma since the January 2nd attack to his head.
Mayhew is facing First Degree Assault, Aggravated Robbery and Burglary.
His bail is set at $750,000.
According to the criminal complaint released Wednesday, Watczak was attacked in his home by two men who walked through an unlocked front door.
Mayhew is accused of striking Watczak over the head with a blunt force object before throwing a blanket over his head and taking about two dollars in change out of his jeans, plus taking his flip phone and tablet.
“So that’s where they initially hit him and blood sprayed all over here and here’s the rag that was on his head that he was trying to stop the bleeding with,” explained Watczak’s son, Erik, who says it was senseless for the burglars to hit his father to get what they wanted because Watczak would not have put up a fight.
“It’s a tragedy,” said Erik Watczak. “It’s sad that you can’t’ even sleep in your own house and not have to worry about somebody just waltzing in because they need their next fix or whatever the heck it ends up being.”
According to his son, Watczak found an extra cell phone under his table. He charged it and called 911 to report the assault.
“The phone saved his life,” said Erik Watczak. “If hadn’t had that and had the mental capability to use that phone and call 911, he wouldn’t be here today.”
Watczak remains hospitalized in a coma.
The suspect, Darrel Mayhew, was arrested days later after police reviewed surveillance footage from neighbors, the lift bridge, and in Canal Park.
Another key piece of evidence is a white glove found in a neighbor’s yard that matched the imprint made on the window of the victim’s home.
Court documents say that glove had a substance on it that appeared to be blood.
To help the Watczak family with medical costs, click here for the GoFundMe page.