Former California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer became the latest victim of surging crime in California's Bay Area Monday afternoon.
The 80-year-old former lawmaker was reportedly assaulted and robbed in broad daylight while taking a leisurely stroll near her home in Oakland's Jack London Square, KTVU-TV reported. Boxer said that she was pushed from behind by a young man who snatched her belongings before hopping in a getaway car.
"I was walking around this neighborhood that I love so much," Boxer told the local news outlet after the attack. She reportedly added that she had noticed a black sedan double-parked roughly 30 seconds before the assault. Then she saw a young man get out of the car.
"I tried to cross the street and get away and he slammed me on the back and reached across me. He was behind me and grabbed my cellphone out of my hand," Boxer recalled. "I said how can you do this to a grandmother? I want to call my grandkids. Why are you doing this? He could care less and got into the car and sped away."
She said she was fortunate not to have fallen.
"My heart was pounding. My hands were shaking. I was glad I was on my feet," she said.
Boxer was able to walk to a nearby Verizon store and call the police. Through an investigation, law enforcement reportedly learned that the incident involving Boxer was part of a string of robberies in the area.
A law enforcement source reportedly told KTVU that the getaway car used in the assault was "the same one used in several vehicle break-ins in this area and in other parts of Oakland during a half-hour span prior to the attack on the former senator."
The Bay Area, which includes Oakland and San Francisco, has been rocked by a wave of violent crime in recent months. Many blame the progressive city council's decision to defund the city's police department for the rise in crime.
"[Criminals are] so bold. I just can't understand it. It'd be nice if we had foot patrol police down here walking the area," one Oakland resident said after news of the attack on Boxer broke.
Last month, the city's new "violence prevention" chief — who is tasked with replacing police with other public safety initiatives — was attacked by armed robbers while he discussed how to confront soaring crime with local reporters.
At around the same time, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong delivered an impassioned rebuke of the city council's decision to cut the police budget, arguing that the progressive initiative would only result in a loss of lives.
Fmr. CA Senator Barbara Boxer Robbed, Assaulted In Oakland's Jack London Square www.youtube.com