LYNN (CBS) — Even though she was brutally beaten during a robbery earlier this week, 89-year-old Geneva Sozanki is still keeping her positive attitude.
Sozanki has lived in Lynn for 60 years, and has never had any trouble, but on Monday, a man hit her from behind and stole her purse, leaving her unconscious and bleeding on the sidewalk.
When her story made news on Tuesday, Lynn Police starting getting tips. Thursday afternoon they arrested 30-year-old Nicholas Christian who lives not more than a half-mile from Sozanski.
Sozanski told WBZ News Radio’s Jon MacLean that she is glad police apprehended a suspect before he hurt someone else. “I had faith in the police department. They work so hard. I’m glad they found him and no one else got hurt.”
Instead of being angry at her alleged attacker, Sonzanki says she feels sorry for him. “It’s very sad…and if he has a mother and father, I feel bad for them. I know how I would feel.”
She also had a message to her alleged attacker and “anyone else who is going to start stealing.”
“Ask the person,” she said. “’I need money, give me yours.’ I would have given him my bag. I am not going to fight anybody. It’s foolish to pick on people. If they have to ask, they should ask.”
Christian appeared in Lynn District Court Friday afternoon for his arraignment. he was allowed to hide behind a blackboard in court because his defense attorney is worried about identification issues.
Prosecutors say police found personal items belonging to Sonzanki, including personalized rosary beads, in Christian’s apartment.
Christian was ordered held without bail, pending a dangerousness hearing.
WBZ-TV’s Sera Congi reports.
Police investigators have tied Christian to the assault on Mrs. Sozanki and second assault involving another woman who is said to be in her 30s.
Police say he’ll be charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of assault as they continue to search for anymore victims.
As for Sonzanki, she still loves Lynn. “Lynn was a wonderful city… and it still is. I cannot believe how good people have been to me.”
“People are good. There is more good in this world than bad.”