Halifax man charged with ‘random’ robbery, assault on the elderly

Jeanette MacDonald is badly bruised after being attacked in a scary home invasion Tuesday night in Halifax. Steve Silva/Global News

Police have charged a 43-year-old man in connection with both a break and enter and a home invasion that occurred this week in Halifax.

In both cases, the victims were elderly women.

On Tuesday, Jeanette MacDonald, 85, says she was home alone when she answered a knock at her door to find a man. Police say the man punched MacDonald in the face, knocking her to the ground.

The suspect then punched the widow again and dragged her out of her home by her arm. She told Global News the man had a gun and knife in his pockets, and demanded money.

WATCH: Elderly woman punched, pulled from home during scary Halifax home invasion

Click to play video: 'Halifax woman, 85, recovering after home invasion' Halifax woman, 85, recovering after home invasion
Halifax woman, 85, recovering after home invasion – Dec 21, 2016

The following night, police say a man entered a senior’s apartment building on Leppert Street and found his way into the bedroom of an 86-year-old woman, where he is said to have demanded money.

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Police say the woman complied, providing “a sum of cash” and the man left the apartment without injuring the woman and her friend.

Using a K-9 unit, officers tracked a scent to the Mumford bus terminal before eventually arresting a man shortly after midnight in the 2400 block of Gottingen Street.

WATCH: Halifax police call second home invasion targeting seniors in 2 days ‘very upsetting’

Click to play video: 'Halifax police arrest man in late night break and enter' Halifax police arrest man in late night break and enter
Halifax police arrest man in late night break and enter – Dec 22, 2016

“At this point in time, they appear to be random because the victim and suspects were unknown to each other,” said Const. Dianne Penfound, Halifax Regional Police.

“Normally, when there’s home invasions, it’s deemed not random. These were unusual incidents and we’re very happy to have a conclusion,” she said.

Paul Alexander Sponagle, 43, of Halifax is facing a slew of charges including robbery, break and enter, assault causing bodily harm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, uttering threats and disguise with intent.

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He appeared in Halifax Provincial Court on Friday.

Police say they are now looking at other open break and enter cases in the municipality to see if there may be any connection to Sponagle.

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