A Half Moon Bay man is accused of brutally beating his 82-year-old grandmother because she was driving too slowly.
Vittorio Valdez, 27, faces elder abuse and other charges in connection with the alleged attack on his 105-pound granny, who had been giving him a ride because his license was suspended, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Valdez, who pleaded not guilty to the allegations, is scheduled to appear in court today for a pretrial conference. He remains in custody on $50,000 bail.
Around 11:30 p.m. Sept. 24, Valdez was picked up in his grandmother’s BMW in Palo Alto, authorities said. When they reached Half Moon Bay, he allegedly became enraged that his granny wasn’t putting the pedal to the metal, and so he “pounded on the dashboard and pushed her right leg down to accelerate the car,” Wagstaffe said.
Terrified, the granny pulled into a Shell gas station, but that only made her grandson angrier, Wagstaffe said.
Valdez allegedly pulled her from the driver’s seat, threw her into the passenger seat, then punched her in the face several times while holding her down.
A witness at a nearby 7-Eleven called 911. Valdez sped off on state Route 92. A San Mateo County sheriff’s deputy spotted the BMW on the highway and followed him.
The deputy “saw the suspect grab his grandmother’s hair and slam her against the passenger window several times,” Wagstaffe said.
When the deputy pulled Valdez over, his grandmother jumped out of the car screaming for help, the deputy said. Valdez surrendered to the deputy after beginning to run away, Wagstaffe added.
The deputy found .05 grams of heroin in the center console of the BMW. Valdez is also facing drug charges.
Valdez’s grandmother wanted no criminal action against her grandson, Wagstaffe said.
Not so fast, was the district attorney’s reply.
“We have two independent witnesses who saw what happened,” Wagstaffe said.