An Oakland woman said she was mugged in broad daylight by two people she thought were teenagers. She said she later found out they may be tweens.
The woman, identified as Iona, said she was attacked Monday afternoon near Jack London Square in Oakland. It was an attack that lasted seconds, but in her mind it felt like hours.
"They punched me. I fought back with them," Iona said.
When the attackers managed to wrestle away her wallet and phone, Iona said a getaway driver picked up the two males and sped off.
"I thought they were perhaps maybe 15 to 18 years of age," Iona said.
She said Oakland police told her the attackers were likely 12 and 14 years old.
"These youth were coordinated and were driving a car, speeding on a highway," Iona said.
Iona, who is Asian, believes her race played a role in the attack, but police are not saying that publicly.
Hours after Iona’s attack, Palo Alto police said they arrested three boys from Oakland for mugging a woman at the Stanford Shopping Center and leading police on a high-speed chase in a stolen car. Police said the driver was just 12. All three were arrested for robbery, felony battery and a number of other crimes. Palo Alto police would not say whether the victim in that crime was also Asian but said the investigation is still ongoing.
"It's really frustrating to feel that we’re in a place specifically when we’re being targeted right now at this moment," Iona said.
A spokesperson for Oakland police said Iona’s attack is still under investigation and would not comment further.
As for Iona, the bruises and scrapes on her face and her hands have healed, but the fear is still there.
"We all want to be able to walk out our door and not be scared and we have every right to do that," she said.