Athens man charged with beating and strangling 70-year-old woman during burglary of her home


By Joe Johnson

An Athens man was recently arrested for allegedly assaulting an elderly woman during a burglary of her home last week.

According to Athens-Clarke County police, 52-year-old Ronald Keith Daniels of Coleridge Court entered without permission the home of a 70-year-old woman at Jessie B. Denney Tower apartments on West Dougherty Street between 2 an 5 a.m. on July 11.

Upon being wakened by the intrusion, the woman told Daniels to leave, police said, at which time he allegedly punched her in the face, collar bone and neck.

The woman reportedly told police that when she started to shout, Daniels began to choke her with one hand while covering her mouth with the other hand, which made her feel dizzy and as though she was about to lose consciousness.

Daniels allegedly told the woman he was going to kill her, to which she reportedly replied,” If you do, they’ll know that it was you.”

Just prior to leaving the apartment Daniels took the woman’s phone charger in what police said was an apparent attempt to keep the woman from calling for help.

The woman did not report the incident until the next afternoon, and the officer who took the report noted in it that he was not going to take out arrest warrants because there were no third-party witnesses or evidence that linked Daniels to the scene. The officer also noted he did not observe any injuries to the woman.

However, after further investigation, police took out warrants charging Daniels with first-degree burglary, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, aggravated stalking, and inflicting pain on an elder person.

Police did not say what relationship existed between Daniels and the victim, but the Clarke County Jail’s website indicated the suspect was booked on his charges under the state Family Violence Act.

Daniels was arrested on the warrants on Sunday, and as of Friday he was being held at the jail without bail being set.

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