North Port caregiver facing attempted murder charges

Published: Updated:

NORTH PORT, Fla. — A caregiver who used an oxygen tank to beat a 91-year-old World War II veteran on the head multiple times faces two felony charges, including attempted murder, the North Port Police Department said.

Elena V. Erickson, 45, is in custody following her arrest, officials said.

Michael Tristano, the veteran who sustained injuries to his head, face and arms, has returned home after a brief hospital stay.

The incident took place on the night of May 15 at Tristano’s residence on White Ibis Drive, authorities said.

Erickson initially alerted authorities to Tristano’s injuries, the police report said, claiming that she arrived at the residence the morning of May 16 to find him lying in a pool of blood and urine with a laceration to his head.

Tristano was transported to the Venice Hospital Emergency Room, where a doctor called on authorities to look further into the cause of his injuries, which appeared inconsistent with a routine fall, the police report said.

Police found a 2-foot-wide pool of blood and urine and a bloody oxygen tank at Tristano’s house.

Police say Erickson was friends with Tristano for more than a decade.

“Certainly a shock to him that someone he knew was doing this to him but we’re guessing it was certainly a shock for her to learn he had survived,” said Josh Taylor with North Port police. “Whoever you let in your home, you obviously take that risk with people you trust.”

The other felony charge Erickson is facing is for tampering with evidence.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.