NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It was a terrifying Christmas morning for an 87-year-old Jewish woman who moved to the states after facing persecution in communist Russia.

Police say a man broke into her apartment and attacked her, sending the elderly woman to the hospital, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported.

Luybov Faynshteyn was back out Wednesday morning, with a woman by her side. It’s an amazing display of strength consider all she’s been through.

Faynshteyn was attacked in her apartment on West 25th Street in Coney Island early Christmas morning.

“She said that he grabbed her and started slapping and punching her in the face and in the head,” Marina Fedorovsky, the victim’s niece said.

Luybov Faynshteyn (credit: CBS2)

Fedorovsky was with her aunt as she returned home from the hospital yesterday, visibly shaken from the ordeal.

According to police, Faynshteyn’s door was unlocked at 6:45 a.m. to allow easy access to her caretaker. The suspect barged in and confronted the elderly woman in her bedroom.

“How can you beat 87-year-old? You know he has grandma. He has a grand-grandma. How can you hit a woman and especially an old woman?” Fedorovsky said to CBS2.

The man rummaged through her belongings, leaving a drawer on her bed. Faynshteyn was punched multiple times in the face but still managed to get to her emergency medical alert button before the man snatched it away and took off.

“She’s OK. He beat her on the nose and the head, but she is alive and that’s what’s important,” Fedorovsky said.

It’s still unclear what the suspect took from the apartment. He was last seen with a suitcase.

Suspect accused of beating 87-year-old in Coney Island apartment. (Credit: NYPD)

Tuesday night, police released surveillance photos of the man they believe attacked Faynshteyn.

Anyone with any information is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by Tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.

Despite the traumatic incident, Faynshten continues to move on.

Police have increased their presence at the apartment building as investigators continue to search for the suspect.


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