Click here for a video of the story from KTVU.
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OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland police Monday night asked for the public’s help in the search for three young men who viciously beat a little old lady last week, leaving her hospitalized and fighting for her life.
The attack took place last Thursday while the elderly Chinese woman was collecting cans and bottles in the 2700 block of Grande Vista Avenue in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood.
Oakland police are calling this attack barbaric and investigators are asking the public for help in solving the crime.
Robert Burks lives just steps from where the 80-year-old woman was severely beaten that Thursday evening around 6 p.m.
“She was right here, between the sidewalk and the street. It was full of blood,” remembered Burks. “They kicked her and kicked her and beat her with a stick and broke it in two. Then they stood by her laughing.”
The victim is described as being under than five feet tall and weighing a mere one hundred pounds. Yet police say three men in their twenties ganged up on her and beat her unconscious, but did not take anything from her.
Neighbors told KTVU they’re outraged over the violent incident.
“She’s a poor sweet old lady. She couldn’t fight back. I can’t understand why a person would do that to somebody who can’t fight back,” said Keian Davis, who lives in the area.
Police are not releasing the victim’s identity, but neighbors say she’s a friendly Chinese woman and a neighborhood fixture. They say she frequently collected cans and bottles for recycling.
Two Laotian women in the area of Fruitvale told KTVU that they and the victim are among a handful of elderly women who make money collecting recyclables in the neighborhood. The women said they’ve never been attacked while collecting, but are frightened because of what happened.
Since the attack, police say they’ve stepped up patrols in the area. Investigators say they only have a general description of the three suspects. The men fled from the scene on foot.
Police are asking witnesses to call them.
“They should come forward. I’m sure more than a few people saw what happened. [If they have] any kind of respect for the lady, they should say something if they know something. Eventually they’re going to get caught,” said Burks.
Oakland police and the mayor’s office announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the three suspects. Police say the 80-year-old victim is in the hospital suffering from life-threatening injuries.
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums says this sort of disregard for human life cannot and will not be tolerated.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the suspects – 510.777.3211.
For more information about the incident please contact the Public Information Officer Jeff Thomason 510.238.7230 or email at jthomason[at]oaklandnet[dot]com