87-year-old woman mugged while walking home from church in Jersey City

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- An elderly woman is afraid to leave the house after she was robbed and brutally attacked on her way home from church in Jersey City.

The 87-year-old great grandmother said she started screaming and that's when she was punched in the face, leaving her bruised and bloodied.

"I'm crying. I tremble. I crying," said Ana, describing how she was savagely mugged with crushing blows to her head while walking from mass.

"Then they box me. Box me here, there and near my mouth," she said.

The devout Catholic who attends mass every day was heading home about 6:30 Saturday night after receiving communion.

She says first saw the men loitering by Our Lady of Mercy. Then, as she started up the stairs near McGovern Park, they pounced.

"Suddenly, they push me, they grab me. I was unconscious," said Ana.

Jersey City cameras in the area happened to be down for repairs that night, but officials did find some private surveillance video.

As for Ana, she barely had $20 in her bag. She is now praying for the men who beat her that they will change their violent ways.

"I forgive them even though they did what they did," she said. "I thank God I am alive. I forgive them."

"Who is the stronger person? She is the stronger person than the two culprits that did that to her," said Father Tom Iwanowski of Our Lady of Mercy.

Ana may have forgiven her attackers but they have also stolen her sense of safety. Now, she says she is afraid to walk to her house of worship by herself.

UPDATE: Safwan Pridgen, 19, of Jersey City has been arrested and charged with robbery, inflicting bodily injury and conspiracy. Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of the second person involved in the incident. Anyone with information can provide it to our tip line at 855-JCP-TIPS.

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