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Man Arrested For Beating, Attempted Sexual Assault Of 80-Year-Old Woman In Hollywood

The attempted assault took place in Hollywood's infamous Knickerbocker, now a retirement community. (Photo by howard-f via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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A man who allegedly beat and attempted to sexually assault an 80-year-old woman in her Hollywood apartment last month has been arrested, police say.City News Service reports that on June 18, Marcus Datwione Peete, 33, entered the woman's apartment in a retirement complex near Hollywood Boulevard and Ivar Avenue, took an elevator to an upper floor, knocked on her door, and shoved her to the ground. He attempted to sexually assault her, brutally beat her up, and fled.

As ABC-7 reported at the time, that Peete was able to get access into the building—the historic Old Knickerbocker Hollywood Hotel, which has been converted into a retirement home—by using the call box to dial multiple apartments, until someone buzzed him in.

"She fought back, and after fighting back, she beat back the suspect as much as possible and then he became very, very aggressive and significantly beat her up," Deputy Chief Matt Blake told ABC. She was left bloodied, and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

KTLA notes that the attack appeared to be random.

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Peete was shown entering the building and elevator on surveillance footage:

Now known as "The Knickerbocker Apartments," the 1925 once-luxury building is apparently haunted: Knickerbocker resident D.W. Griffith died of a stroke in the lobby in 1948, and Harry Houdini's wife Bess held a (unsuccessful) Halloween séance on the roof of the Knickerbocker in 1936.

Today, neighbors and residents say most of the people who live in the Knickerbocker are native Russian speakers.