An elderly woman was brutally punched in the face by a robber while inside an Omaha, Nebraska, church on Sunday, during a purse snatching. The attack was recorded on the church’s surveillance video (watch it above).
Two men entered St. Cecilia Cathedral at about 11 a.m. on August 16, the church’s pastor, Reverend James Netusil, said in a post on Facebook. Netusil said the woman, who is 72, was in the north vestibule of the church at the “welcome table reading a copy of the parish newsletter.”
Then, two black teens, described as about 16 years old, entered the church behind her. One of the men can be seen grabbing her purse from her arm and running out the door.
“The second, for no explainable reason, hit the woman squarely on the side of her face, knocking her down where she hit her head against the side of the table,” Netusil said.
Omaha Police said the woman was taken to the hospital for a large bump on her forehead and scrapes, and was later released from the hospital.
Another video, posted online by Father Netusil, shows the two men entering and exiting the church:
“Honestly, I saw the video for the first time this morning, and it just makes you cringe,” Netusil told the Omaha World-Herald. “After the first kid grabbed her purse, the second one hits her, and there’s no point to it. It was just evil.”
“She was pretty shaken up, but she didn’t want to go to the hospital at first. From the video, we know that she had just walked in two minutes before and suddenly, she’s attacked.”
The woman’s granddaughter posted on the police department’s Facebook page a few days after the attack, and said she “asked that we pray for her attackers.”
Neutsil wrote on Facebook, “What faith it takes to pray for those who attack you. So very humbling.”