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'I was scared to death:' Assault leaves 85-year-old woman nervous

Jeanette MacDonald, 85, rests in her home in Halifax on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 following a violent assault when answering a knock at her front door.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
December 22, 2016 - 6:00 AM

HALIFAX - Jeanette MacDonald whimpered and her bruised hand shook as the 85-year-old woman recalled being punched in the face by a stranger and dragged from her Halifax apartment during a bizarre home invasion.

"I was scared to death," MacDonald said Wednesday, while sitting on a green recliner in her home with a flannel blanket tucked around her legs.

MacDonald said she was alone in her basement apartment in Halifax's west end Tuesday night when she heard a bang on the door. She opened the door to find two young men, who demanded money.

"They just kept asking me for money. They said, 'Do you want to live? You better give us the money.' And I said, 'I don't have any money to give you,'" she said, raising her voice as she described repeatedly refusing the young man's demands.

MacDonald, who uses a walker to get around, was pushed to the floor, then dragged from her home and forced to the pavement.

"My leg was all full of blood and I got hit here, too," said MacDonald, pointing to a large purple bruise surrounding her right eye. "They hit me, knocked me to the pavement ... and I started screaming."

She said a neighbour heard her cries for help and came outside. The suspects fled the area.

"They were young guys, young punks, as far as I'm concerned... They said, 'We'll let you go this time, but the next time we come here you better have some Do-Re-Mi for us," said MacDonald, adding that she was punched and kicked multiple times during the assault.

MacDonald is recovering from two black eyes, bruises on her left hand and chest, and swollen ankles and knees.

She had originally told police it was one young man who came to the door, but she later remembered there were in fact two young men.

Police said they were searching for a light-skinned black man, 5-foot-5, with a slim build and wearing a red sweater and a red toque. Several officers and a canine unit searched the area, but did not find a suspect.

MacDonald said her neighbourhood is usually very quiet, but she now feels nervous in the apartment where she has lived alone for about three decades. She said she does not have any relatives, but has lots of friends.

She plans on moving into a retirement home in the new year.

"It's the first time this has ever happened to me," said MacDonald, surrounded by photos of her friends and a few Christmas decorations. "I'm nervous. Whenever somebody comes to the door, I get right worked up."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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