By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV

MANCHESTER, NH (CBS) – A Manchester man is being held on $20,000 bail for assaulting an elderly neighbor with a hypodermic needle.

Police say Richard Crawford, 48, knocked on the door of another tenant in his apartment building on River Road Friday and entered the apartment, saying he wanted to talk about another tenant.

Crawford then allegedly told the 78-year-old woman she had something in her hair. He reached around her and stuck her in the back of the neck with a needle, police say.

The woman told investigators she heard two clicks before she was poked with the needle. When she looked at Crawford, he was holding a small syringe with clear fluid inside.

According to police, Crawford told the woman he had just poisoned her and she was going to die.

Crawford then allegedly told the woman he poisoned her and that she was going to die. He then tried to prevent her from calling 911 before returning to his apartment where his live-in caregiver says he gave no indication of a violent encounter.

“He says ‘I’m tired, I’m going to take a nap,'” said Crawford’s live-in caregiver Mary Dischino.”He usually has the guiltiest face ever, he can’t keep secrets like that, he never could.”

When officers arrived at the home they found Crawford and hypodermic needles pre-filled with insulin.

Dischino says Crawford has many medical issues and take a lot of medication, but he is not violent.

Police have not said why Crawford assaulted the woman.

The victim was taken to the hospital for observation and later released. Doctors tell police depending on the amount of insulin in the needle, it could have been life-threatening for a non-diabetic.

Crawford was charged with first degree assault, criminal threatening, criminal trespassing and obstructing the report of a crime.

Two neighbors who spoke to WBZ-TV also said Crawford has not been seen to be violent.

“Oh no, he’s a pussycat,” said neighbor Kathleen Richardson. “The one that’s accusing him of this, he’s given her muffins and cookies that he’s baked.”

At Crawford’s arraignment, prosecutors said he has one conviction for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in 1987.


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