Man sought in assault on woman on way to prayer meeting on Staten Island

PARK HILL, Staten Island (WABC) -- Police are trying to identify a man wanted for questioning for an unprovoked assault on a Staten Island woman.

"He told me shut up," said 57-year-old Beatrice Kaliku, who was left fighting for her life with an open gash in her head, two black eyes, two broken ribs, and bruises up and down her body. "I think he wanted to kill me...When he saw I was trying to fight him off, he grabbed my head and threw me against iron gate."

Kaliku was on her way to an overnight prayer meeting on January 5, to pray for the safety of her Staten Island community.

She had just left her apartment in the Park Hill section when she says a young man grabbed her from behind on Bowen Street and started beating her.

She dropped her bag, but he didn't take it and run. Instead, the punishing blows continued. At one point with his hand in her face, she bit his finger, determined not to go down without a fight.

"I want to ask him why," the victim's daughter, Tryphena Kaliku, said. "What was the motive? What possessed you?"

The attacker tried to drag Beatrice into a dark area but help finally arrived and he took off.

"It was horrible. Horrible," she said. "He kept persisting. My eye. Beating, beating, it was horrible."

Beatrice,a home health care attendant, needs the stitches removed from her scalp and her pain is still throbbing. But she holds fast to her faith.

"As a woman of God I forgive him," she said. "He should get help but I have forgiven him."

"I thank God she's still here," her daughter said.

Beatrice is now without a pay check and she cannot afford physical therapy. But she says what her attacker was not able to beat out of her is her faith in God, which has allowed her to forgive and heal.

UPDATE: A man has been taken into custody in connection with this case

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