Chesterfield retirement home attempted rape suspect under arrest

Chesterfield retirement home attempted rape suspect under arrest

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield police say a 53 year old retirement home volunteer tried to sexually assault an 85 year old resident. The Virginian retirement home on Twin Ridge Road off Providence is just blocks away from the police department. Officers were able to quickly arrive on scene after getting the shocking and graphic telephone call.

53 year old Thomas Garrett is facing a serious, felony charge after officers say a staff member found him inside an 85 year old resident's room. Investigators say Garrett was partially undressed and tried to take advantage of the victim's mental state.

The news is leaving the community stunned.

"I didn't hear a thing about it," said Houston Powell who lives at the facility.

The 88 year old could never imagine a crime like this.

"Oh God no…I've been here 2 years and I've been safe. Nobody's tried to rob me or anything else so I guess it's fairly safe," Powell added.

NBC 12 tried to get some answers on site but crews were asked to live.

"This is private property sir. Sorry," an employee said.

Pete Spence's step mother lives on site. He's sad to hear of the news and hopes it's an isolated incident.

"We think it's a nice place and she's comfortable where she is so I think they're taking care of it," he said.

The elderly woman police say was victimized was taken to the hospital for evaluation. She has since been released. Now Garrett will await his day in court.

"He tried to molest her, 85 years old? I think he should be prosecuted – yes," said caregiver Lois Snyder.

After calling and emailing a corporate office in Oregon multiple times, NBC 12 was eventually told a response would be coming but it hasn't yet.

Garrett is being held at the Riverside Regional Jail.

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