EXCLUSIVE: 71-year-old SF woman considers moving after being strangled during attempted robbery

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Friday, July 23, 2021
EXCLUSIVE: Older SF woman considers moving after violent attack
A 71-year old San Francisco woman is considering moving out of the city after being placed in a chokehold in an attempted robbery at her home.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A 71-year old San Francisco woman is considering moving out of the city after being placed in a chokehold and carried by the neck in an attempted robbery at her Oceanview home. She and her domestic partner believe it's what she screamed out that helped save her life.

Remia Reyes was unloading groceries from her SUV the afternoon of July 14 when she suddenly felt an arm around her neck. At first, she thought it was a relative giving her a playful hug but as the grip got tighter, she realized something was wrong and thought she was going to die.

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"I said, God if this is my call, I accept it. I will accept. If I have done something wrong in my life, forgive me. I'm willing to accept it, Lord. That's what I was thinking," said Reyes.

One of two suspects lifted the barely 5-foot tall Reyes off the ground and carried her in a headlock through the garage.

"I said please don't hurt me. I have some money. Not much but I just want to share with you my money," said Reyes.

It's what Reyes said next that may have helped save her life.

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"I said, my brother, has a gun. I don't want my brother to be a killer," said Reyes.

She also called out for her domestic partner, Solita Magsalin who was upstairs.

"I said "Dai! Dai! He thought I was telling Dan or Dad," said Reyes.

She explained how "dai" is a term of endearment for someone in the Philippines. Reyes is half Chinese and half Filipino.

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"Maybe he (the suspects) thought I was Chinese," says Reyes, referencing the stereotype that Chinese carry and possess large amounts of cash.

The first suspect dropped Reyes to the ground while the other ran away.

During her interview with ABC7 News, Reyes pulled her shorts up to show the remnants of bruises on both knees and explained the suspect also kicked her in the back.

While no possessions other than garage door openers were taken both women are afraid the pair will come back and are now trying to figure out how to pay for a replacement garage door that can not be opened with the stolen openers.

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The pair took something else much more precious.

"This is my security right now?" says Reyes who picks up a black rubber mallet which she carries around at all times and sleeps with.

The 71-year-old also says she pretends to be brave for her brothers and sister but inside is still hurting and very afraid.

Her message to others about garage doors: to be aware of your surroundings when with your vehicle in an open garage and to close the door right away.

Through tears, here is her message to her perpetrators.

"Whoever did this to me, please don't anymore. My God!"

The San Francisco Police Department's investigation is ongoing.