Dereck Taylor Holt is facing charges of aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation and burglary after terrorizing 3 senior Mennonite women in Northern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
According to the Clarion Ledger, 22-year-old Holt conned his way into their home and shocked them with a stun gun. A self-proclaimed former Menonite himself, he entered the victims' residence on claims of being of an insurance salesman.
The incident occurred on Saturday, December 15, in Clay Township, County Regional Police Chief David Steffen describes. Two of the women were home at the time, while another came back at a later time, catching the assailant in the act.
He spent a total of three hours with the victims, all between 84 and 90 years old. He boasted that he was after them because of their faith.
"This is a hate crime," Steffen explains.
After shocking the 3 elder residents, he tore up their Bible as he was reading passages from it. He went on to ransack and burglarize their residence. As they lied there, he covered their floors and furniture in household chemical items.
The three Mennonite women were left immobilized, and all required hospitalization.
"They suffered multiple electrical shocks, were incapacitated and left. [...] They were unable to move for a long period of time. That could have led to bad things like blood clots and positional asphyxia," Steffen says.
Northern Lancaster County police is set to further discuss the issue with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Holt remains jailed on $1 million (€760,000) bail, and no information has been released on whether or not he has employed legal counsel.
The women suffered non-life threatening injuries, and are currently recovering in hospital. They were discovered hours after the attack, by a relative.
"[They] are doing remarkably well considering their age," Steffen notes.