Great-Grandmother Gets Mugged, Black Eye In Lynn

LYNN (CBS) – An 89-year-old great-grandmother from Lynn has a message to fellow senior citizens, after she was mugged and beaten outside her home.

It happened in broad daylight Monday afternoon. Geneva Sozanski walked outside of her Eastern Ave. home with her cane in one hand, and her purse in the other.

“I’m going up my driveway and all of a sudden I feel something pulling at my left arm – that’s where I carry my purse,” she recalled. “Next thing I know, I’m on the sidewalk.”

Sozanski speaks with Carl Stevens

Geneva doesn’t remember the attack; it left her unconscious, bruised and bloody on the sidewalk. A passerby saw her on the ground and stopped to help. Two days later, she’s out of the hospital, with her black eye still swollen and two stitches in her head.

Sera Congi reports

“You never know when you’re gonna die,” she said Wednesday, reflecting on the attack.

“If he had said ‘I want your purse’, I would have given it to him. I didn’t want to go through all of this.”

Sozanski’s sister, Helen McSweeney, who lives in the same house, says the mugger is a monster.

“When I saw my sister … I tell you I was practically in a state of collapse.” But McSweeney says her sister is tough – and won’t let this experience keep her from being active. “She’s very pretty for 89. She’s vital, she drives, cooks, takes care of her husband.”

Geneva hopes her story can be a lesson to other seniors – not to let their guard down, even in their own neighborhood in the middle of the day.

“I can’t believe that this happened in front of my own house in the afternoon. But anyway, that’s life,” she said matter-of-factly.

“I’m not afraid, because if you’re afraid then they’re the winners and I’m the loser. And I’m not going to be a loser.”

WBZ News Radio’s Carl Stevens and WBZ-TV’s Sera Congi contributed to this report.

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