FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The last thing she remembered was a fist coming towards her face.
Friday night, about 6:30 pm Linda Lambert said she was punched and momentarily blacked out when a stranger tried to steal her backpack.
It happened just off A1A at an Intracoastal park on Hollywood Beach.
“It hurts from my forehead to my cheek,” Lambert told CBS4 reporter Joan Murray.
Lambert’s face is black and blue and swollen.
She is homeless and currently lives at the Homeless Voice Shelter on Federal Highway in Hollywood.
Lambert said she frequently takes the bus along the beach road and hasn’t had trouble before.
She said a man sat down at the picnic table where she was waiting for the bus.
“He was tall with shaggy, sandy blond hair, with a big nose. I saw his profile more than him,” said Lambert.
When she saw her bus arriving, Lambert said she got up from the picnic table and that’s when the man started to grab her backpack, but she wouldn’t let go. That’s when she was hit.
“I was in such shock. I didn’t feel a lot of pain. I felt pain in my heart that no cops were around and my friends weren’t there.”
Even though her backpack doesn’t have much inside but some paper, water and socks, it’s everything to Linda, and she wasn’t willing to let it go.
“It happens more often than figures show,” said homeless advocate and Homeless Voice founder Sean Cononie.
Cononie said he believes the assailant knew Linda was homeless and he says there has been an uptick in attacks on the homeless.
“Lately I’ve seen broken arms and contusions. If you ask them if they were attacked, frequently they will say no. They don’t want to report it to the police.”
Cononie urged people to report violence against the homeless if you see it happening.
Lambert says simply about her attacker, “I hope he gets caught.”
Anyone who may have witnessed the attempted robbery and can help police identify the man who attacked her is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.
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