Police Searching for Man who Attacked Elderly Woman with Tire Iron

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STOCKTON --

A 71-year-old Stockton woman is recovering from a brutal attack, after she says a man came at her with a tire iron while she was camping in a remote camp area.

The swollen jaw and severe bruising seem to tell the story for Eunita Diaz, who says she never saw the attack coming.

Diaz says she and her family camp near Buckley Cove in Stockton often.

Diaz fell asleep in her 1999 Chevy Prism, when a man approached her car and tried to unscrew her license plate. The noise woke her.

"As soon as I opened the door this man came out of nowhere and whacked me," said Diaz.

At first, she couldn't tell what her attacker used to strike her. Eventually she realized the man used a tire iron.

"It scared me so bad. I did not know who was hitting me, or why," said Diaz.

The attacker left bruises on her arm and leg, and fractured both sides of her jaw. She spent two nights at St. Joseph Hospital.

Her granddaughter-in-law Ayla Stull heard the noise, but with her children asleep in a tent, she says she became fearful for their safety.

"It's either help her or help my kids. I don't know who they're going to come after," said Stull.

Finally she left the tent, and saw the attacker near another car with three other people. When they saw Stull, she says they took off quickly, but not before she got a good look at them.

"I'm just going to go get her, because I'm in disbelief they beat on a 71-year-old woman, my kids' great-grandmother," Stull said.

"Why would you do this to an old lady? I'm 71 years old," said Stull.

The attacker did get away with her license plate, and perhaps worse, her peace of mind.

A lieutenant at the San Joaquin Sheriff's office says the department is in possession of the tire iron and a screw driver found at the scene, which it can check for DNA evidence.

Diaz's granddaughter-in-law describes the attacker as a Hispanic looking man, around 18 or 19 years of age, about six feet tall with a military style haircut and no facial hair. Anyone with information is asked to contact the San Joaquin Sheriff's Office or Crime Stoppers.

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