Teen charged after 71-old-woman attacked in Surfside Beach area home, police say

Teen charged after 71-old-woman attacked in Surfside Beach home, police say

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A 16-year-old has been charged in connection with an attack on a 71-year-old woman last week in the Surfside Beach area.

According to a press release from the Horry County Police Department, the teen is charged with attempted murder, burglary, criminal sexual conduct, and kidnapping tied to the alleged assault that happened July 19 at a home on Southwood Drive.

Horry County police were called in to assist after Horry County Fire Rescue responded to a “fall call” that medics determined to be suspicious.

Investigators determined the 71-year-old woman had been attacked in her home, which resulted in a number of serious injuries, the release stated.

Evidence collected from the morning of the assault allowed detectives to identify and locate the suspect, police said.

WMBF News spoke to the victim who said she feels safer knowing that the suspect is in custody. She also said she’s not going to let this incident scare her.

Neighbor Ralph Marrero said he just moved to the Southwood community last fall and said it’s a very tight-knit neighborhood and rarely has any issues related to crime.

“It’s very peaceful. It’s friendly. You can be driving through here and people walking will wave at you because they’re just that way. Everyone is very friendly. Everyone will talk to you. Everyone says hi because it’s just that type of neighborhood,” Marrero said.

The neighborhood does have a crime watch division, but with access to the Highway 17 Bypass and Highway 544 more cars do you cut through the neighborhood.

“If I was a thief, I’d want easy access. I could park a car a block or two away and jump in it and get onto 544 or I can jump on 17 and I’m out here," Marrero said.

But just like the victim in the case, Marrero said he’s not going to let this incident scare him.

“My dogs are very protective so in my case I’m not afraid," Marrero said.

Horry County Police believe this was an isolated event and they aren’t looking for any other suspects in the case.

The teen has been transferred to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

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