Vigil will be held for beaten elderly woman

November 26, 2008 6:17:14 PM PST
A candlelight vigil will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday for an 80-year-old woman who was brutally beaten in Oakland's Fruitvale district last week.

The vigil will take place at the corner of East 27th Street and Grand Vista Avenue, which is close to where the woman was attacked about 5:45 p.m. Thursday, according to Michelle Lagunas, who chairs a neighborhood crime prevention group in the area and also serves as assistant program manager for the Fruitvale San Antonio Senior Center.

Lagunas said she and other people are holding the vigil in honor of the woman's courage and strength to take a stand for community action against violence.

Lagunas, who lives two blocks away from where the incident occurred, said the attack was "completely disgusting" and "egregious." She said she's concerned because there are attacks on seniors in the area "almost on a daily basis."

On Monday, Mayor Ron Dellums and the city's Police Department announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the three suspects in Thursday's incident.

Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said the three male suspects approached the woman and began kicking and punching her. They then beat her with a wooden stick, he said.

Thomason said the woman is in serious condition at a local hospital.

The suspects fled the area on foot and police are investigating a motive for the crime. It did not appear to be a robbery, Thomason said.

In announcing the reward on Monday, Dellums referred to the crime as a "senseless act of violence that is both tragic and intolerable."

In a prepared statement, Dellums said, "It's an example of the sort of rage and disregard for human life that cannot and will not be tolerated in this city."

Anyone with information regarding the crime is asked to Crime Stoppers at (510) 777-3211.


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