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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 29, 2010

Woman, 69, knocked out in attack in carport

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Teresita Pascua, shown with husband Henry in a photo taken about 15 years ago, awoke from Tuesday's attack covered in blood.

Pascua family photo

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• Be vigilant.

• Don’t go out alone at night.

• Be sure to lock your doors.

Source: AARP

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When 69-year-old Teresita Pascua was attacked around midday on Tuesday, it marked the third time in less than a week that an older woman on O'ahu was assaulted while at home.

Police said the three assault cases are not related but that having so many against older women in such a short time is "highly unusual."

Henry Pascua said his wife was knocked unconscious Tuesday afternoon after two boys approached her in her Nānākuli carport on Ho'okele Street at about 12:45 p.m. and asked if "Ryan" was home.

She told the boys that no Ryan lived there, and the next thing she remembers is waking up in a chair in her home, covered in blood and her dentures knocked out, Pascua said.

She suffered a fractured cheekbone , broken nose and swollen and cut lips, Pascua said. He said nothing was missing from the home and theorized that they were scared off before they could take anything.

Police yesterday were continuing to look for at least two boys, and possibly as many as four, in connection with the beating.

In the first case, Mary Lee Koskinen, 85, and her caregiver, 40-year-old Matthew Edmondson, were found severely beaten in their home in Wai'alae Nui on Jan. 21 and were taken to The Queen's Medical Center in critical condition following the incident. Two men were arrested and indicted in connection with the case.

In the second, also on Tuesday of this week, two men broke into a home on Kaumahana Place in Pearl City while the residents slept.

A 74-year-old woman was awakened about 2:45 a.m. by an alarm and confronted one of the intruders, who assaulted her. Both robbers ran out of the house when a second resident confronted them, police said.

Police yesterday continued to look for suspects in the Pearl City case who wore camouflage clothing and masks, and were 20 to 30 years old. One man was described as 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-4, and 200 pounds. The second man was described as 5-7 to 5-8, and 150 to 160 pounds.

"Three cases in one week is highly unusual," said Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department. The department doesn't keep statistics based on the age of the victim, but this stands out, she said.

"We're continuing to work on the two most recent cases and have committed extra resources to the cases," she said.

Pascua said the assaults are scary but didn't know what to make of them.

"I can't even imagine what their intentions were after they attacked her," he said.

Pascua said his wife is recovering but planned to return to the hospital today for possible surgery.

He said an alert neighbor suspected problems when he saw the boys and called 911.

Jackie Boland, with AARP, said she hopes the attacks on the elderly are not the beginning of a trend or the result of the bad economy and the cuts to services.

"These random attacks by strangers just seem like a terrible sign of where our society is right now because it's like hitting a baby," Boland said. "I'm just appalled by it."

Attacking the elderly goes against Hawai'i's culture of respect for seniors, but these desperate times may mean that people need to take more precautions in protecting themselves, she said.

She urged elders to be vigilant, to not go out alone at night and to be sure to lock their doors.

"We need to continue to respect our elders, and older adults need to ... be vigilant for their own safety," Boland said.