WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — The 87-year-old woman who was assaulted and robbed outside of a Dollar Tree store in Wheat Ridge earlier this month is home recovering.
Patricia Scott said she was going to the store to pick up some sandwich bags and a few other things when the attack happened. The suspect stole her purse off her shoulder, dragging her in the process and breaking her ribs and arm. Scott also sustained head and leg injuries from the attack. Scott’s right hand is badly bruised, even 10 days after the attack.
“It happened so fast I really don’t remember anything. I woke up either in the hospital or the ambulance,” Scott said. “The last memory I have was parking my car.”
Scott, who lives in an independent living facility near the store, says it was police who eventually told her what had happened.
“It was just kind of unbelievable but at the time I was in a lot of pain and worried about my purse all my IDs,” she said.
For the great-grandmother, this is a story of loss. Not only did Scott lose her purse, but she also lost her ability to take care of herself.
“I was always very independent, did my own cooking, my own wash, shopping, everything and now it’s a little bit difficult,” Scott said.
She now relies on her family to take care of her as she recovers.
Her purse only had $90 inside and things like prescription glasses and membership cards. However, there were also a few personal possessions she still misses.
“About 60 years ago, I had a laminated my birth certificate, my entire birth certificate, and I carried that all these years and I know I’ll never be able to replace that,” Scott said.
She’s also lost her sense of security. Her daughter Katie says Scott is still waking up from nightmares.
But, she’s eager to get things back to normal. Scott says once she’s able to walk again, her first order of business will be going to the bank to get a new account set up. She’s also eager to get back to doing what she loves. Scott has been delivering the newspapers to her neighbors every day for more than a decade.
“Well I always thought I’m going to go down to get mine I might as well, since I’ve always been an early riser, get mine and why not bring everybody else’s,” Scott said.
The independent living center that Scott calls home is also using this as an opportunity to teach their residents about personal safety. The management invited a Wheat Ridge police officer to host a safety presentation at each of its locations to speak to residents about how to aware of your surroundings and prevent yourself from being a target.
Scott is also hoping the man who hurt her will learn a lesson from her pain.
“I hope he can be helped and be rehabilitated and get him off the streets where he can’t hurt anyone,” she said.
The family has set up a GoFundMe for Scott to help pay for some of her medical expenses.
The suspect, Contarius Lamonye Alexander, appeared in a Jefferson County court Thursday morning. He’s being held on a $100,000 bond.
According to an arrest affidavit, Alexander was spotted on a security camera at an Aurora Conoco a little more than an hour later using Scott’s credit card. His next court date is February 15.
The Wheat Ridge Police Department has the following advice for people who are concerned about their safety:
-When you leave a store, look left and right. If you feel uncomfortable, return to the store and ask a clerk to escort you to your car.
-When you are pumping gas, lock your car when you get out and look around. If you feel uncomfortable, get back in your car and lock the doors.
-When you are walking to your car from a store, keep your keys in one hand and the other hand free.
-When you are carrying a purse, don’t wrap the strap around your hand. Police say it’s better to let it go if someone grabs it than to try to fight for it because those things can be replaced but you can’t be replaced.
-When you are pushing a cart in a store, don’t put your purse or wallet in the cart, only put items you don’t mind losing in it.
-Carry only your wallet or credit card or one check in your pocket if you can when shopping.
-Walk with a sense of purpose and walk like you are angry that way you look like less of a target.