Woman brutally beaten during Chester home invasion; 2 suspects in custody

CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- A 49-year-old woman was brutally beaten during a violent home invasion in Chester, Pennsylvania.

"Cop cars came from 24th Street to 25th Street. They had bright lights, flashlights, going checking this house over here in the alley," said Lisa Fleming.

The sudden flurry of activity Lisa Fleming spotted was the Chester Police Department looking for Richard Johnson and Erinn Howarth, and possibly the housekeeper of Fleming's neighbor, 75-year-old Dennis McCarthy.

The pair were allegedly after a safe belonging to McCarthy, the victim's father, that housed cash and jewelry.

Court documents reveal they held McCarthy up at gunpoint, demanding the combination to the safe. When he told them he didn't know it, they "tied (his) hands and feet with cords ... ransacked the bedroom ... tried to beat open the safe."

McCarthy's 49-year-old daughter, who came home during the incident, was "severely beaten, bleeding badly."

"No one heard anything. If they did, someone would have said something. Police officers live in this neighborhood" said Fleming.

She added she didn't hear anything "until I heard the cop car come with the lights and the sirens."

McCarthy managed to untie himself once the suspects made off with the safe.

Police found him sitting outside, asking for an ambulance for his daughter.

"I was highly shocked and surprised. Things like that typically never happen in this neighborhood," said Darel Alliston of Chester.

It's unclear how the suspects entered the home, but hours before the invasion, Howarth and Johnson reportedly stopped by the McCarthy home to pick up a bikini the 25-year-old had left there.

According to courtroom documents, it's that bikini that was discovered in a backpack in one of the bedrooms after the home invasion that led police to Howarth and Johnson.

The 49-year-old woman remains in critical, but stable condition.

Police were able to recover the safe, unopened.

Howarth and Johnson are being held on $1 million bond.
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