NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The 77-year-old woman who was brutally attacked while waiting at a Brooklyn bus stop earlier this week is recovering from her injuries, but is minus her purse and some cash.
The man who did it is still on the loose, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Saturday.
The bruises are visible on the hand of Selene Chester-Thomas, who in surveillance video released by police is seen waiting for a bus the night of Feb. 6 when the suspect seems to come out of nowhere and strike her.
“He came up… I call it a karate chop,” Thomas said.
The force sent her into a fence and on to the sidewalk on Bushwick’s Cooper Street, near Evergreen Avenue.
“When he grabbed, I fell down,” Chester-Thomas said. “I hit my hand, my shoulder and my backside. Then he just grabbed the bag from my shoulder.”
That bag had been a gift from her son, and she knows what she did next was unwise.
“I started running after the guy,” Chester-Thomas said, adding she did it because she really wanted her bag back.
She still had her cellphone, but the suspect escaped with the bag and a very small amount of cash, $1.75.
“I had a gift card. I had a few lottery tickets that I bought, but, I mean, I didn’t have no amount of cash there. So what he got was my bible, my daily word, and my gloves, my scarf, my, you know, hand sanitizer, lotion and stuff,” Chester-Thomas said.
“I pray that he opens the bible and reads it,” she added.
The bus ride from that spot in Bushwick to the street in Brownsville where she lives was supposed to be a routine 15 minutes. Instead, she spent hours getting treated at Woodhull Hospital, Carlin reported.
Bushwick residents told CBS2 they were appalled by the attack.
“They are heartless. They have no soul,” one woman said.
“I’m going to hold on to my things tighter,” resident Liv Fredrickson added.
Chester-Thomas said she prays her attacker feels remorse, and turns himself in.
“I have already forgiven him,” she said.
Chester-Thomas moved here from her native Trinidad in 1989. She spent decades working as a live-in nanny before retiring. She said this is the first time she has ever been the victim of a violent crime.