Elderly woman critical after brutal assault, 1 arrested

PALM DESERT — Authorities are investigating the attempted murder of an elderly woman at a Palm Desert apartment last night, Thursday, Jan. 31. The brutal attack left the victim in critical condition according to officials, who said the incident happened at an apartment complex in the 74300 block of Candlewood St., just south of Hwy 111 and east of Portola Ave.

Officials investigating last night’s attack later identified and arrested a 32-year-old, Palm Desert man they allege was responsible for the assault.


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Deputies assigned to Palm Desert Police Department responded to an apartment about 5:20 p.m., after receiving a report of unknown trouble at the home, Riverside Sheriff’s Deputy Robyn Flores later said.

When deputies arrived they found an elderly woman “suffering from major injuries,” Flores explained. After paramedics stabilized the victim, AMR medics rushed her to a local hospital. Officials have not released any information about the nature or extent of the victim’s injuries, but she was listed in critical condition, according to Flores.

Deputies at the scene soon cordoned off the area outside the victim’s apartment complex, but eventually expanded their caution tape to include much of the street and surrounding homes and apartments, designating the entire neighborhood a potential crime scene.

Based on the circumstances, Palm Desert Sheriff’s investigators responded and assumed the investigation. Technicians from the department’s Forensic Services Bureau also were dispatched to the apartment and were later observed documenting, photographing, and collecting evidence from the scene.

During their investigation officials contacted and detained Ryan Alkana at the scene. Based on their investigation, officials arrested Alkana and he was later booked into Indio Jail on suspicion of attempted murder. Jail records indicate Alkana remains in custody and is scheduled to be arraigned at Indio’s Larson Justice Center, Feb. 5.

After an investigation, officials arrested Ryan Alkana and charged him with attempted murder. RSO booking photo

Sheriff’s deputies, investigators, and other officials remained at the scene throughout the rest of the evening and into the next morning, as they continued their initial on-scene investigation.

Officials have not released any known motive for the brutal beating or if the suspect and victim knew each other or were related in any way.

Palm Desert PD’s investigation is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to immediately contact Investigator Reinbolz at (760) 836-1600. Callers can refer to incident file number T190310135 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s Homicide Tipline online form.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.