Elderly Woman Mugged In Senior Citizens Center Parking Lot

An elderly woman is shaken up after being mugged in broad daylight. What's more alarming, the attacked happened in the parking lot of the Tyler Senior Citizens Center on Garden Valley Rd.

79-year-old Mattie Spruill got out of her car and was making her way through the parking lot Wednesday morning around 11:00 a.m., when the mugger came at her. "He ran and knocked her down and got her purse and flew across here," said Ruth Knight, a volunteer at the center. Knight says the man ran into a wooded area across the street from the center.

"The lady came in bleeding and another woman said, 'Call the police,' and that's when I ran out to see what was going on," said Mammie Johnson, a custodian at the Senior Citizens Center. Johnson and another employee went looking for the mugger. "I started going around the next street there and about that time, Connie came out and I told Connie to go to the next street and I was going to stand here where I could see if he came back this way," said Johnson.

But, the mugger got away. The damage was done. Johnson said, "She was just bleeding. She wasn't saying anything." Spruill was visibly shaken nearly half an hour after the attack. She had cuts under her chin, on her hand and her knee. Some of her teeth were broken.

Spruill's daughter rushed to the Senior Citizens Center when she heard what happened. As she cried, she kept saying, "How can someone be so vicious?" The incident has left some at the Senior Citizens Center afraid. "I just hope they catch that guy because I work nights a lot here and I would be afraid myself for my safety," said Johnson.

Spruill was treated at East Texas Medical Center and released. Her mugger is described as a black male in his late teens or early 20s, about 6' tall and weighing 200 pounds. He was wearing a short-sleeved, dark blue shirt and khaki shorts with striped boxers. If you saw anyone in the area matching this description, call the Tyler Police Department.

Oralia Ortega reporting, ortega@kltv.com