An 80-year-old former U.S. senator was assaulted Monday while walking in Oakland in broad daylight.
Former Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer was not seriously injured in the incident, which took place in the Jack London Square neighborhood of Oakland, according to Boxer’s office.
“The assailant pushed her in the back, stole her cell phone and jumped in a waiting car,” a statement from Boxer’s office said. “She is thankful that she was not seriously injured.”
Police said the incident took place at about 1:15 p.m, CNN reported.
Earlier today former Senator Barbara Boxer was assaulted in the Jack London Square neighborhood of Oakland. The assailant pushed her in the back, stole her cell phone and jumped in a waiting car. She is thankful that she was not seriously injured.”
— Barbara Boxer (@BarbaraBoxer) July 26, 2021
The Oakland Police Department told CNN that the individual “forcefully took” Boxer’s cell phone and then fled.
Verizon employee Joseph Hauken told KPIX-TV that he had sold Boxer her iPhone two days ago, and that the former senator went to his store after the incident.
“I just knew that she was shaking, very scared, traumatized. Just in distress, emotional distress. So I just was here to help her, get her water, whatever she needed,” he said.
Boxer said she was stunned, and noted that two males were involved — one who took her phone and one waiting to drive the car in which the suspects fled.
“I’m really saddened by this experience because here is a grandma alone, on her phone, and two young people attacked,” Boxer told KPIX. “I’m not hurt physically at all. I’m just shook up.”
Boxer pegged the ages of the two teenagers as under 18.
“Well, he pushed me very hard,” she said. “It’s hard for me to describe what happened because it was so fast, but, when I started to move away from him, he came behind me, pushed me hard, and then before I could fall it was like he grabbed my phone in front, so it’s just hard to put all together.”
Boxer said she yelled at her attacker.
“I said, ‘Why would you do this to a grandma?’ I was yelling at the kid as he was running with my phone,” she said. “I said, ‘I want to call my grandkids, why are you doing this?’ He could care less. He got in the car. But I hope he has some guilt.”
Police were seeking a black sedan in connection with the incident. A police source told KPIX that two teens matching the description Boxer gave have been involved in other crimes.
Authorities consider the attack a crime of opportunity because Boxer’s iPhone was worth in excess of $1,000.
Boxer was a senator from 1993 to 2017,
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