According to police, World War II veteran Michael Nicholas Tristano was nearly killed in his own home by his caretaker, Elena Erickson after an argument ensued because she wanted a blank check from Tristano.
Police say that the caretaker, Elena Erickson, struck Tristano in the head multiple times with an oxygen tank and left him there to die on the night of May 15.
The next day, Erickson called police to Tristano’s house around 8 a.m where he was taken to Venice Regional Bayfront Health to be treated for his injuries.
Erickson told first responders on the scene that she found Tristano on the floor near his dining room table in a pool of blood and urine. Erickson also claimed that she hadn’t been at the home since 10:30 p.m the night before.
A few days after the attack, Tristano was able to speak to police to let them know what happened. He said that Erickson hit him in the head twice with the oxygen tank around 9:30 p.m while he was sitting at the dining room table. Erickson wanted Tristano to write her a blank check.
After the scuffle, Tristano sat back down at the dining room table while Erickson cleaned up the blood on the floor. She refused to let him leave the table and then again at 10:30 p.m, she struck Tristano two more times with the oxygen tank.
He said that he went in and out of consciousness for the next several hours. Erickson left the house around after 5 a.m and called 911 a few hours later.
Police arrested Erickson and charged her with two counts of attempted murder and tampering with evidence. Her bail is set for $300,000.
According to local North Port, Florida reporter, Don Moore, Tristano flew 35 missions in a B-17 bomber while serving in World War II in 1945. He also served as a waist gunner and a ball turret gunner.