It was the middle of winter 2009, and the elderly pair, taking pity on a homeless man, let him move into their Hunting Park home.
In return, he agreed to help around their house, on the 3900 block of North Percy Street.
By two years later, police said, things had soured and the house guest, William Miller, began to beat his benefactors, a brother and sister.
Police said Miller, now 55, would regularly beat the 83-year-old woman and the 85-year-old man. The male victim, they said without providing details, has medical conditions and was beaten every day.
The alleged abuse was discovered after an ambulance took the elderly male to Temple University Hospital last Sunday. He was recently assaulted and was neglected, police said. Officers were notified and an investigation began.
Miller was arrested Thursday and charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, and related charges. He has three prior arrests for burglary and drug charges, police said.
The reason for the alleged assaults, police said in a release Saturday, was that the couple who took him in refused his requests for money.
Police said Miller also threatened to kill the pair if they tried to contact authorities.
The woman was beaten as recently as a few weeks ago, police said, without specifying a date. In that instance, Miller allegedly punched the woman several times in the face.
Police said the investigation, run by the special victims unit, is continuing, with more arrests possible.