Two boys, 14 and 15, snatched a purse from a 72-year-old woman last month, knocking her down and causing her to suffer shattered pelvic bones and two broken toes in the East Beverly neighborhood on the city’s Far South Side, police said.
Both boys were in court today before Judge Lana Johnson, who placed them on curfew and released them to their parents. Prosecutors had asked that they be held, according to Cook County State’s attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.
The boys were cited in a juvenile petition with robbery, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a senior citizen, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery on the public way, and theft, Simonton said.
The 14-year-old will appear for a status hearing Aug. 30 while the 15-year-old is scheduled for trial on Sept. 12, Simonton said.
The incident happened about 4:30 p.m. on July 25 near 103rd Street and the Metra tracks as the woman was taking a shortcut through an alley.
The woman, reached by phone Monday, said she had an uneasy feeling that someone was “very close” behind her.
“I just wasn’t aware. I didn’t pay attention that there was anyone watching me,” said the woman, who did not want to be identified.
Police said one of the boys approached her from behind and the woman asked that boy to pass her but instead he grabbed her purse.
She tried to hold on but was eventually overpowered and knocked down, and both boys ran away with the purse.
“I should have dumped everything out and told them take what you want. But I was just concerned and held on and had a tug of war,” with the thieves, she said.
The woman said after the boys left, a man walking nearby who was talking on his cell phone heard her screams and called police, then stayed with her until they arrived.
“A total stranger. A real good Samaritan,”she said.
The woman did not seek medical attention immediately but about two days later, when the pain became insufferable, she went to a doctor and learned the severity of her injuries, she said.
“I have a huge purple bruise going down my right side and my knee is swollen,” she said. “I have extensive bruising where I fell on my hip and knee. I broke two toes and a have a lot of bruises on my hands.”
She said she is still in pain and it’s hard for her to walk. She said she is midway through a rehabilitation treatment and doctors told her the bones would mend.
The woman said she was shocked that everything happened so quickly and has mixed feelings about the attack.
“I have thought of it over and over and over in my mind. My feeling of fear and apprehension, a little,” she said. “And I felt so bad that they were so young.”
Officers later found the purse and everything in it except $46 in cash, police said.
“We worked hard for it, I just don’t like to think it was lost this way,” she said.
But she is glad nothing else was taken and said it could have been worse. The woman said she doubts the incident will make her avoid that area.
“If you let it keep you from doing it you become sort of a prisoner,” she said. “It’s hard to think that I would be so crippled by fear.”
Source: chicagotribune.com “Boys, 14 and 15, accused of injuring senior during robbery,” August 15, 2013.