Trial set for man accused of stabbing, robbing Palm Springs couple

33-year-old Justin Ryan Scarff due in court September 2nd

INDIO, Calif. - A Sept. 2 trial was set Thursday for an Indio man accused of roughing up and robbing a couple at their Palm Springs home.

Justin Ryan Scarff, 33, is charged with one count each of attempted murder,
robbery and attempted robbery, and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon in the alleged March 17, 2012, attack. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Alleged victim Leonard Kaplan testified at Scarff's preliminary hearing in January 2013 that he was in the garage of his home in the 1800 block of Via
Isla, returning home from walking his dog, when he was confronted by a man with a knife who demanded money.

``(He) said, `I want your money, I want your money,' '' Kaplan said.

Kaplan testified he told the man he had no money and to get out. ``I believe he turned and I think I heard him say, `I'm going to do it,' and he pulled a knife from his jacket sleeve and came at me,'' Kaplan said.

He said the man swung at him and cut him on the chin, forehead and side
of his face.

``After you were hit with the knife, what did you do?'' asked Deputy District Attorney Brian Bolland. ``I was trying to defend myself -- I was swinging, pushing, I ended up on the floor, and (then) he was kicking me,'' Kaplan said.

He said he ran into the house to get a towel to stop the bleeding and told his wife to call 911. His wife, Gail, testified that the assailant grabbed her, dragged her through the house and ran off with some purses.

According to Palm Springs police, the suspect threatened her with the knife and pushed her to the floor a few times. About an hour later, someone reported that a possible suspect boarded a SunLine bus in Palm Springs and was going through Cathedral City.

Police found the bus and arrested Scarff without a struggle near Date Palm Drive and Highway 111 in Cathedral City.

Leonard Kaplan was stitched up at a hospital and released the next day.
Gail Kaplan, who would later identify Scarff as the attacker, was treated at
the scene. The Kaplans said they did not know their assailant, according to

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