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Bradenton woman, 84, pistol-whipped in theft

MANATEE — A Northwest Bradenton woman was pistol-whipped in a botched burglary Friday afternoon, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The 84-year-old woman was taken to Blake Hospital after a man in his 20s came into her house, in the 8200 block of 19th Avenue Northwest, hitting her over the head with a pistol. The gun caused two lacerations to her head, according to authorities.

Just before 11 a.m., the woman was in her bedroom when the attacker ransacked two bedrooms first, before going into the victim’s bedroom and then attacking her. The man then fled with the victim’s purse and several other items, the sheriff’s report said.

Dave Bristow, public information officer, said there have been no arrests in the case. The woman is expected to be fine, he said.

“There was no reason for him to do what he did to her,” Bristow said. “He could have ran. That bothers us.”

A neighbor of the woman’s, who declined to give her name, said there is normally never any violent crime in their neighborhood.

“Nothing’s ever happened here,” said the neighbor who has been in the same house for 20 years. “I was shocked. I normally go and check on her. She’s tough. She will be OK.”

The attacker entered the woman’s house through an open side door leading into the garage. The neighbor said neighbors often feel comfortable leaving doors open when they are home.

“She was bleeding down her head,” said the neighbor after the attack. “She said he robbed her of everything she had.”

The victim told authorities her attacker was wearing all black clothes and a black mask. He was described as standing 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing between 220 and 250 pounds.

If arrested, the man could face charges of armed burglary and aggravated battery.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (941) 747-3011 or remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477).

Beth Burger, Herald criminal justice reporter, can be reached at 708-7919.