Mother defends man accused of snatching gold cross from elderly woman
NEW CASTLE, Pa. —
A Shenango Township man accused of ripping a gold cross necklace from an 87-year-old woman who answered her front door earlier this month was in court Wednesday.
Michael Yesko, 23, originally faced charges of robbery, theft and receiving stolen property.
Police in New Castle said the theft occurred when Yesko knocked on the woman's door just before noon Sept. 11 and asked to speak with her son.
Investigators said the woman told him he wasn't home, and Yesko began writing down his phone number before snatching the cross from her neck and leaving in a pickup truck.
Police said they arrested Yesko when he was pulled over based on a description the woman gave.
Yesko’s mother said Wednesday that she doesn’t think her son did exactly what police allege.
"My son saw the necklace, and he said, ‘You owe me the $40, so I'll take this in exchange,’” Melissa Micco said. “He never ripped the necklace off an 87-year-old woman's neck. It was all thrown out of proportion. The way they put my son out there, his name and the report in the paper, I want it straightened out. My son does not rip chains off people’s necks like that. That's not how it happened."
Officials said the robbery charge was dropped to theft on Wednesday because the necklace was returned.
A judge will decide sentencing at a later hearing.