Suspect in vicious El Cerrito carjacking caught

Amy Hollyfield Image
ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Surveillance video shows vicious attack on woman
Surveillance video has been released of a vicious attack of a woman in El Cerrito.

EL CERRITO, Calif. (KGO) -- A wanted parolee allegedly involved in a vicious attack of an 89-year-old woman in El Cerrito was caught in Oakland Wednesday evening. The attack happened outside a CVS store on San Pablo Avenue on Sunday. Surveillance video shows the stolen white Toyota Camry being driven away by the suspect.

"As the car backs out our victim has already been punched, broken clavicle and broken ribs, and is there on the ground," said El Cerrito Police Lt. Steve Bonini.

The victim is only five feet tall and 90 pounds. Police said Terrance James Hardy left her unconscious on the ground and stole her car. Hardy is almost twice her size at 170 pounds. The officers had a strong reaction as they investigated the crime.

"It was a little bit of disgust, mixed with a little bit of anger, mixed with lets go out and find this guy," said Bonini.

Police got a couple of good breaks in the case. The surveillance video shows the car pulling out, but it was a witness description of the man that really helped police. The witness said the attacker had some kind of growth on the side of his face. That triggered an officer's memory who had just issued Hardy a traffic ticket.

"One of our officers had previous contact with him a few hours before and recognized or knew who the person was," said Bonini.

Police were looking for the victim's car -- a white Toyota Camry. Police say they were very motivated to get him into custody.

Shoppers at the El Cerrito CVS where the attack happened say they are just horrified to hear that someone would do this to a frail, elderly woman. They too were hoping for an arrest.

"That's somebody's mother, grandmother great-grandmother and it's devastating -- that is all I can say," said CVS customer Verma Williams.

The woman is in the hospital and is expected to survive.

Hardy has a long criminal history, including assault with a deadly weapon.