By Shereen Siewert

A judge in Wausau this week issued an arrest warrant for a man accused of beating an elderly woman in her West Street apartment while two people looked on.

Somnuik Tippawong, 43, faces felony charges of physical abuse of an elder person`in a case filed Nov. 5 in Marathon County Circuit Court. Judge LaMont Jacobson issued an arrest warrant for Tippawong on Tuesday, according to online court records.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by Wausau Pilot & Review, police responded just after 9 p.m. Sept. 23 to an apartment in the 200 block of West Street for a report of an altercation. When they arrived, the alleged victim said she was sleeping with Tippawong entered her apartment and began kicking and hitting her on the neck. Two people inside the apartment allegedly stood by and watched the attack, according to court documents.

Tippawong and the alleged victim know one another but are not related by blood. Police say he had a key to her apartment and lived nearby, but refused to answer the door when officers attempted to question him.

The alleged victim, who does not speak English, was taken by ambulance to Aspirus Wausau Hospital for treatment of her injuries. When she was released, officers were concerned for her safety given that Tippawong had a key to her apartment. Using an interpreter, they tried to determine addresses of family members but were unable to find a safe location for the woman, who was unable to care for herself.

Officers contacted The Women’s Community, but no rooms were available, court documents state, and North Central Health Care was unable to step in. Eventually, the Wausau Police Department Victim Resource Unit rented a hotel room for the woman until officers could locate her family.

Police later attempted to apprehend Tippawong outside his apartment but he ran inside and the pursuit was called off amid officer safety concerns, court documents state.

The charge filed against Tippawong is a felony punishable by up to six years in state prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.