Police in Arizona are asking for the public’s help after an unidentified man was caught on camera striking an elderly grandmother with a pipe and then stealing a pizza from her.
The Tucson Police took to their Facebook page on Tuesday to share a video of an assault and robbery that took place on the afternoon of April 21 at a Peter Piper Pizza restaurant. In the short video, which is less than 30 seconds long, an elderly woman can be seen carrying two pizzas as she begins to exit the pizza shop, but as she opens the door and starts to leave, the male suspect appears and brandishes what authorities say was a metal pipe, striking the woman on the head and grabbing one of her pizzas. As the woman stumbles back into the store, the man walks off.
The victim, a 77-year-old woman whose name has not been shared, did not sustain any injuries and is recovering at home, her family told local outlet KOLD News 13.
Tucson police have described the suspect as a Hispanic male with dark skin; he is believed to be 5’6” or shorter and he reportedly has a “wrinkly face,” according to the police statement. They are asking anyone who witnessed the incident, or who recognizes the unidentified assailant, to reach out by calling 911 or by contributing an anonymous tip by contacting 88-CRIME.
“We know the video isn't very clear, but if you frequent this area and have seen someone matching this description, please call so we can get this guy off the streets,” police said on social media.
Aubre Cottrell, the victim’s granddaughter, told KOLD News 13 that her grandmother initially thought that the man was helping her with the door and had turned to say thank you when she was attacked.
“I wish it was me and not her, or someone in our family that could have protected themselves better. We are just happy she is okay because it could have ended really badly,” Cottrell said.
In the wake of the seemingly random attack, Peter Piper Pizza has increased its security, according to a statement obtained by KOLD News 13.
“Peter Piper Pizza takes the security of our guest very seriously,” that statement reads. “We have implemented new security policies and increased personnel to ensure a safe environment.”
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.