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Court document: home invader has anger toward Mennonites - abc27 WHTM

Lancaster County

Court document: home invader has anger toward Mennonites

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Dereck Taylor Holt Dereck Taylor Holt
LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) -

A Lancaster County man jailed for a home invasion robbery in which he allegedly beat and restrained three elderly women told the victims he is a former Mennonite and has anger toward the community since leaving the faith, according to court documents.

The criminal complaint against 22-year-old Dereck Taylor Holt further states he admitted to police that he went to the Clay Township home Friday to commit a robbery, and that he confessed to beating the women and restraining them with duct tape as he searched the house for cash and valuables.

Police have charged Holt, also known as Dereck Holtz, with three counts each of aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, ethnic intimidation, unlawful restraint, and false imprisonment in addition to single counts of robbery, burglary and theft.

He is being held in the Lancaster County Prison on $1 million bail pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for December 21.

The criminal complaint indicates that Holt became a suspect in the crime after he stopped at a Ephrata pharmacy to ask for directions to a New Holland sporting goods store and had blood spatters on his face and clothing.

A witness at the pharmacy was able to provide police with the license plate of the stranger's blue Dodge Durango - the same make, model and color as described by the victims of the robbery - and the license plate was traced to Holt, the document states.

Holt's father later reported a domestic incident situation involving his son, who reportedly was in possession of a handgun, a stun gun and mace, the charging document states.

Two of the women injured in the robbery were able to positively identify Holt as their attacker from a photo array, police said. He was arrested in Millersville the following day.

Police previously reported that Holt claimed to be an insurance salesman and was dressed in a blue suit and yellow tie Friday morning when he went to the home in the 300 block of Indiantown Road.

While speaking to two women in the home at the time, he suddenly attacked them with the stun gun and then taped their hands and feet with duct tape he removed from his briefcase, police said.

Holt was wearing a black mask when he attacked the third woman when she returned home from a grocery store, according to police.

Police said the women - ages 84-90 - were restrained for about four hours while Holt repeatedly attacked them with his fists and the stun gun, ransacked the home and damaged Bibles, and poured household chemicals on the floor and furniture.

According to the charging documents, one of the women suffered a brain bleed and a fractured left shoulder in the assault. Another had severe bruising to her body and face, and the third had severe bruising and suffered a heart attack as a result of the attack.

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