CHICAGO - Olajuwon Claiborne, 26, is facing criminal charges for beating and robbing 94-year-old World War II veteran Josephine Regnier, 94, at her Southwest Side home last Wednesday.
Clairborne was arrested Friday after surveillance video showed images of him crashing a stolen SUV and running down an alley, carrying Regnier's purse. Police said he confessed to the home invasion and beating after his arrest. Claiborne was charged with two counts of aggravated battery and two counts of robbery Sunday.
Police say Regnier was waiting outside her home for her daughter to pick her up for a doctor's appointment when she went back inside her home to warm up. That's when Claiborne followed her inside the home and punched her. He took off with her purse. Regnier suffered broken ribs, a black eye and a head injury, and was released from the hospital yesterday. Police say there was $50 inside her purse.
Prosecutors say Claiborne has a long rap sheet, and is wanted in two similar robberies from last summer, including an attack on a 65-year-old woman.
"She`s a 94-year-old World War II veteran, she`s not even five feet tall and 100 and some pounds, and for this to happen - especially during the day - it`s terrible," said Regnier's daughter, Judy Dusk.
Jimmy Pieprzyca, who owns the pizza place whose cameras captured Claiborne, also put up a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
"I found out it was one of our drivers; she works part time for us, it was her mom," Pieprzyca said. "My workers were like family to me."
As Dusk, she's happy her mother is home, and Claiborne is no longer on the streets.
"I`m glad he`s locked up, I hope he`s going to stay there," she said.