Kelowna woman, 81, fighting for life after 'serious' case of elder abuse

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KELOWNA - Police have arrested a 61-year-old man who put his elderly mother in the hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries in what police describe as a 'serious' case of elder abuse.

Richard William Karaszi, also known as Richard Pankrath, born 1954, is charged with aggravated assault after police were called to their Baron Road apartment last Thursday, according to a media release by Kelowna RCMP.

Const. Jesse O'Donaghey says the 81-year-old woman is in the Intensive Care Unit at Kelowna General Hospital with five broken ribs, bruising to her face and torso, and significant head trauma.

"Through a detailed investigation, aided by the Kelowna RCMP General Investigations Section, police have determined that the son had been co-habitating with his mother for some time," O'Donaghey says. "(The) suspect had been regularly threatening the victim and taking advantage of her financially. The suspect allegedly returned home late Thursday when he engaged in an argument with the victim which quickly escalated to a serious assault."

Pankrath was 'heavily intoxicated' when police arrived around 11 p.m. March 10 and he was also taken to hospital, though he was arrested when he was released.

O'Donaghey says anyone who suspects elder abuse should report it to police.

Not all cases of elder abuse are so obvious. For more information on elder abuse and hot to spot it, police have resources to help.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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