NUTLEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Nutley, New Jersey woman had gone to bed when her night suddenly became terrifying – as two men forced their way into her house and dragged her right out of bed.

The 81-year-old victim spoke exclusively with CBS2’s Meg Baker about living a nightmare.

Joan Albanez has lived in her house on Hillside Avenue in Nutley, New Jersey for more than 60 years – and she always felt safe going to sleep alone until the night of Friday, Nov. 11.

“All of sudden, someone said, ‘Don’t move,’ and shouted really loud, and I got startled and I looked up in my bed, and I saw two guys,” Albanez said.

The grandmother of six showed Baker the stairs on which her attackers yanked her upstairs from her basement bedroom.

“This is how they dragged me out of bed,” Albanez said as she gestured pulling on her own clothes.

The two men broke in through the front door, demanding cash and jewelry.

“They dragged me all over the floor. They wanted money. I knew I had a couple hundred dollars in my wallet, so I gave to them,” Albanez said.

Albanez’s best friend, Charlotte Argieri, has been keeping her company since the attack so she is not alone.

“I’d like to see if we can catch them, because they don’t deserve to — what if it was their mother or their grandmother?” Argieri said. “It’s terrible what happened.”

Police suspect that Albanez may have been followed. They are checking surveillance video at the bank and Shop Rite, where she went earlier that day.

“There was no other houses hit by her,” said Nutley Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco. “That’s what raises an eyebrow to myself as far as, how did they know an older woman lived in that particular house?”

Albanez has bruises all over her legs, arms and face.

“I will not say what I really want to say,” she said. “They will get theirs.”

Police late Monday were also trying to track where Albanez’s jewelry might have been sold.


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