NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro Nashville Police officers arrested a man for the rape of a 78-year-old woman during a home invasion.
William Douglas McElrath Jr. was arrested Thursday at a relative's home on 16th Avenue North.
McElrath Jr. went to the victim’s home in the Trinity Lane-Jones Avenue area Thursday morning and asked whether she wanted her lawn mowed. When she replied no, the victim said McElrath asked for a drink of water.
The woman let him inside for a brief drink, but then asked him to leave. She then left with her two grandchildren to walk them to school.
McElrath Jr. broke into her home through a back window while she was away, because when she returned home, he was inside. She said he then attacked and raped her.
He fled through the back door when guests of the victim knocked at the front of the house. They immediately called police after learning what had occurred.
The woman was taken to Nashville General Hospital.
Shortly after police responded to the home, McElrath was spotted and interviewed by officers but they did not have enough evidence to arrest him at that time.
The victim subsequently positively identified McElrath from a photo lineup, allowing officers to make the arrest on 16th Avenue North.
McElrath is on the sex offender registry in relation to a 1994 rape conviction. He was also convicted of aggravated burglary and multiple robbery counts in the 1990s.