In Cincinnati, Police Detectives say criminals are now attacking disabled people and the elderly.
Investigators said it’s unusual that crooks are targeting those who can’t fight back, and what’s even more outrageous is that they still do it even if they only get away with a few dollars.
Joanne, an attack victim said she went to the store up the street from her Roselawn Assisted Living Community when she noticed someone following her.
“I turned and asked, ‘What do you want?’ I turned my chair so it made him off balance, and then he hit me in the chest,” she said.
Joanne said she’s still scared of her attacker and she’s angry that some people think she’s weak.
“It makes me feel like I’m not the person I am. I’m not an easy target, but I’m not a strong person. I’m in this wheelchair for a reason,” Joanne said.
Joanne said she only had change so the culprit didn’t really get away with anything.
Detectives said Joanne is not alone. To date, they know of four cases similar to hers.
“Usually, they assault the victims right away, by punching them in the face, knocking them to the ground and taking their property,” said Investigator Jeff McKinney.
Detectives said they think the crimes are related. McKinney said, “They’re teens or young adults between 15 and 21. They work in groups of two and three, looking for people who they believe are easy targets.”
Joanne said she now carries a cellphone and stun gun. She said she also has a plan should she be attacked again.
“I’ll find ways to take care of myself. I’ll run over him, that’s what I say,” she said.
Investigators said they have some pretty good leads. They said they’ve notified assisted living communities and are looking at some surveillance videos.
In the meantime, they are urging disabled people and the elderly to stay in well-lit areas and travel in groups.
Once again, you see the necessity to protect yourself, no matter your age. The police cannot be there when trouble happens. You have to be willing and able to protect yourself. If you don’t feel able, then you need to get something to give you an edge, like a stun gun.