Woman facing assault charges accused of fight with 78-year-old

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ST. THOMAS - A 59-year-old woman is accused of grabbing a 78-year-old woman by the ankles and yanking her off a bed in the older woman's home, according to V.I. Police.

V.I. Police arrested Sylvia Hodge just before 6 p.m. Monday.

Hodge, who wore a red V.I. Bureau of Corrections jumpsuit, appeared in V.I. Superior Court before Magistrate Carolyn Hermon-Percell on Tuesday for her advice of rights hearing.

Hodge initially was charged with aggravated assault and battery and criminal abuse or neglect of an elderly or dependent adult, though Hermon-Percell dropped the latter charge.

Hermon-Percell ruled that the evidence was insufficient to find probable cause to charge Hodge with criminal abuse or neglect of an elderly or dependent adult.

Hermon-Percell said that the officer who arrested Hodge, Latoya Schneider, did not provide enough evidence in the probable cause fact sheet or in her testimony in court Wednesday that the victim was reliant on Hodge.

According to Hodge, she and the woman, with whom she is familiar, were arguing about financial matters when the woman pushed Hodge and then tried to punch her.

Hodge told police the older woman has been beating Hodge up since Hodge was 16 years old, and she said she just could not tolerate it anymore.

Hodge admitted to police that she grabbed the woman, Schneider testified, and Hodge said she blacked out after that and could not recall what happened thereafter.

The older woman's grandson heard the fight inside the woman's house while he was outside and went inside and pulled Hodge off of his grandmother.

Hermon-Percell set Hodge's bail at $1,000.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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