Granddaughter of woman injured in violent attack: ‘I wish it was me and not her’

Granddaughter of woman hit by pipe-wielding suspect speaks out

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A surveillance video released by the Tucson Police Department has gone viral, leaving many upset by what they saw.

Officers released the video in hopes someone would recognize the suspect.

Tucson police said a 77-year-old woman was attacked while leaving the Peter Piper Pizza near 12th Avenue and Ajo Way. The video shows the suspect waiting outside the door, then attacking the woman with a metal pipe, grabbing her pizza and running away.

Aubre Cottrell said the woman in the video is her grandmother.

“I was telling my family I was glad there was no audio because it probably just would have made it worse," Cottrell said.

Talking about what the video captured brought Cottrell to tears.

“I can’t even watch it anymore,” Cottrell said.

Tucson police said the attack was unprovoked and the suspect is still on the loose.

“I wish it was me and not her, or someone in our family that could have protected themselves better. We are just happy she is okay because it could have ended really badly," Cottrell said.

In the video, it initially looks like the suspect is going to open the door for Cottrell’s grandmother, whose hands were full.

“She said she actually turned around to tell him ‘thank you,’ and then she kind of figured out was going on,” Cottrell said.

Police said the suspect hit her with a metal pipe before taking off with one of her pizzas.

“She had a pretty good gash to her head. The medics treated her at the scene. She didn’t want to go to the hospital because she has some underlying health conditions and with everything going on right now, she just didn’t want to risk it. She used to be a nurse, so she knows herself pretty well," Cottrell said.

Cottrell said it never had to go this far.

“She is one of the nicest women I have ever met, and if he would have asked her, she would have given it to him. He didn’t have to hit her," Cottrell said.

With already heightened concern over the pandemic, Cottrell said her grandmother is even more fearful to leave the house.

“It is going to take a while to get her sense of security back," Cottrell said. "I don’t think she will go anywhere alone for a while.”

Cottrell said they have a big family who will help her through this.

“Now it is just more or less not bugging her so we don’t annoy her; she likes her independence," Cottrell said.

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