94-year-old Richmond woman attacked & robbed of Obama issued commemorative coin

A 94-year-old woman was attacked in her Richmond home this week and police say the suspect robbed her of some items she can't replace.

"I fully expected he was going to kill me. He doubled up his fist and hit me a couple of times on the sides of my face with all his might," says Betty Reid Soskin. She only spoke to KTVU about her attack.

Her face is badly bruised, but she wouldn’t let us show it on camera.

“I don't even like to look at myself in the mirror at this point because I still have a couple black eyes and one is still marked. My lips were split in a couple of places," says Soskin.

Richmond police say around 1:45 a.m. Monday. A man broke into Soskin's second floor apartment, entering through a sliding glass door. He later made his way into her room where she was asleep.

"Something woke me and I looked over and there was a man standing with a small flashlight," says Soskin.
She then grabbed her cell phone, but the suspect took it from her. The two struggled and then he dragged her from the bed through the hallway. "I was terrified. I was terrified. Nothing else I could think of was to scream and scream and scream," she said.

The man hit her several times, but somehow she managed to get away, locking herself into the bathroom for about 45 minutes. All the while, the suspect took her items. But Soskin's wasn't giving up. She prepared to defend herself with an iron. "I plugged it in and set it to linen which is the hottest. I figured if he would come in I would brand him and that would mark him for the police," says Soskin.

The suspect managed to get away with an iPad, laptop and cellphone. He also took some commemorative coins including one given to her by President Barack Obama for being the oldest park ranger in the U.S.
Soskin says most items she can live without, but the coin she received from the president in December is dear to her.

"If I can get that coin back I think I can forgive anything," says Soskin.

She wants to stress she's not a victim, because ultimately she took care of herself and although offers have come to help her relocate, she says she's not going anywhere.

"This is my space and it was invaded and I need to reclaim it so I’m going to stay here," says Soskins. Police describe the suspect as a white male in his early to mid-20s 5'8” with a slim build.

Officers are also warning people to be on the lookout for the coin.

"It will be very obvious when somebody comes in and tries to sell the coins or tries to trade it for something else," says Richmond Police Lt. Felix Tan.