Police said a Tyrone Township man who attacked his mother did so over pills.
Matthew J. Baldessaro, 30, of 121 Rustic Hollow Lane told state police he found his mother lying in the upstairs of their home about noon New Year's Eve, the victim of a burglary. But family members told investigators that phone calls and texts from his mother just before the attack told a different story.
Baldessaro had just returned home from rehab and was angry because he couldn't find his pills, family members told police, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
"He came after me with a sledgehammer, was swinging to kill me," one text to a family member at 11:58 a.m. read, police noted. The text continued, "Please call crisis."
Baldessaro's mother was taken to an unnamed Pittsburgh hospital with multiple fractures to her face and head, state police said. Troopers reported finding the woman in the upstairs of the family home, unconscious, but moaning and unable to speak about 12:11 p.m. Tuesday.
Baldessaro was home when state police, who were called by the family member who received the text message arrived, but claimed he found his mother after she was assaulted and denied involvement.
Baldessaro's father also told police that his wife had called him at work to say their son was at the home, and she didn't want him there.
He allegedly told her to call 911 if there were any problems but didn't talk long because he was at work. When Baldessaro's father allegedly tried calling her back, and after several busy signals, she answered.
Police said she was only on the phone a few seconds, telling her husband that he needed to come home.
When the father called back again, Baldessaro answered.
When his father inquired about Baldessaro's mother, Baldessaro told him, "I have to call 911," and hung up, police noted.
An ultraviolet light showed bodily fluids on the front and back of Baldessaro's clothing after the attack, police said.
Baldessaro remains in the Blair County Prison on $500,000 bond, charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 14 before Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller.
The victim's condition was not available Thursday, but police noted Baldessaro's mother suffered a broken jaw, a fractured orbital bone and "other head, skull and face fractures."