The man suspected of robbing an 82-year-old woman at gun point and threatening another man during the weekend was in police custody Tuesday.
Tyler Police Department spokesman Don Martin said Elliott West Jr., 21, of Tyler, is charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, after threatening and robbing a woman with a handgun Sunday afternoon.
An additional charge of aggravated assault is pending against West in relation to another incident Saturday, Martin said.
He said about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, a man was in his car outside a medical office on Hospital Drive when a man matching West’s description approached him.
The suspect demanded the man give him his car but abandoned his attempt to steal the vehicle and left the scene on foot.
About noon Sunday at the Tyler Public Library, an 82-year-old woman also was in her vehicle reading a book when the man approached her and demanded she drive him wherever he wanted to go.
She refused and West allegedly took $100 from her before fleeing the scene on foot.
As the officer was off duty, he did not have his radio on and was not aware police were looking for a man in the library incident, Martin said.
After returning to duty, the officer from the church learned of the incident and suspected the man he encountered may have committed the robbery, Martin said. When authorities checked the church’s restroom, they found a handgun stashed in the baby-changing station, he said.
That weapon turned out to be a pellet gun, but Martin said that since the victims perceived it to be a handgun, it legally enhanced the charges to aggravated offenses.
Martin said the clothing described in each incident matched what the officer observed, and they were able to determine West was the suspect because “we know the guy,” he said.
According to Smith County Jail records, West has 10 arrests since 2008 including assault, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading arrest.
West’s bond on the aggravated robbery charge was set at $750,000 Tuesday, Martin said.