Suspect arrested after elderly man severely beaten in Mesa

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Henry Eric Young By Jennifer Thomas Henry Eric Young By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- Mesa police say an elderly man is in critical condition after he was severely beaten by a man he tried to help.

Mesa police Detective Steve Berry said officers responded to a suspicious vehicle near Main Street and Horne at approximately 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and found a man with a swollen face and bloody clothes. He was identified as Gene Fitzsimmons, 81.

"Fitzsimmons' face was very swollen and his eyes nearly swollen shut," Berry said in a news release. "His clothing was covered in blood and he could only moan when officers spoke to him."

The Mesa Fire Department responded to the scene and treated Fitzsimmons before transporting him to a local hospital.

Officers began investigating and learned that a man had just walked away from a halfway house adjacent to where Fitzsimmons was found. Officers located Henry Eric Young, 41, in the area. Police said he had swollen hands and what appeared to be blood on his clothing.

Berry said Young refused to answer any questions about the incident.

Officers went to Fitzsimmons' home in east Mesa and saw a large amount of blood and clear signs of a struggle.

Neighbors reported that from time to time Fitzsimmons would take in troubled men to try and help them out. Officers learned that Fitzsimmons had taken Young into his home.

Berry said Young had been seen driving in the car with Fitzsimmons earlier in the day.

Young was booked for one count of aggravated assault.

The reason for the assault is unknown at this time.

Berry said Fitzsimmons suffered two broken ribs, a broken nose and bleeding to the brain. He is listed in critical condition.