Elderly El Cerrito woman brutally beaten

January 28, 2012 6:49:59 PM PST
An 81-year-old El Cerrito woman is fighting for her life after being beaten and possibly sexually assaulted.

The Asian female was found in a dark corner near a Big O Tire store on San Pablo Avenue on the border between Richmond and El Cerrito early Saturday morning. The man who found her first thought she was homeless, until he saw blood.

The store manager says he does not usually look at that corner of the property until late in the day, but it was at 9 a.m. when he went to park a car that he saw the woman on the ground.

"When I asked her if she needed help, she looked up at me. Her face was all swollen, just blood everywhere, and she just nodded. She didn't answer me. She nodded," Art Ochoa recalled.

He called 9-1-1. Police arrived within minutes and quickly saw the woman's condition was critical.

"Due to her condition, she was airlifted to a local hospital. We haven't been able to get much more information from her at this point," Lt. Bisa French said.

Richmond police wonder if they will ever get to talk to her at all.

"At this point, we're not even sure if she's going to survive her injuries," French said.

Police say she is a local resident and still do not know if the attack happened Friday night or early Saturday morning. They also do not know the motive behind the attack and are not ruling out sexual assault.

Workers at the tire store say the area sees heavy traffic and that someone may have actually seen the attack. Police are asking anyone with any information to call them.