From the Philadelphia Daily News
By Stephanie Farr
UPPER DARBY, Pa. - An 82-year-old nun lay motionless in an Upper Darby church parking lot after she was brutally robbed and beaten last week, until a schoolboy came to her aid.
"God sent him to save her, to save her life," said the Rev. Peter Quinn, pastor of St. Alice's Church, adding that the nun considers the still-unidentified boy her "angel."
Now, Upper Darby police are hoping for a break in the unsolved robbery.
The attack on the nun, who is with the Dominican Order and lives at the convent in St. Alice's parish complex, on Hampden Road near Sansom Street, happened about 3 p.m. Feb. 2 in the complex parking lot as she returned from service work in Philadelphia, Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.
The nun, who has not been named by police or the church, was in her off-white habit, carrying her purse in a canvas bag, when she heard someone calling out to her, according to police.
When she turned around, she was punched in the face and fell to the pavement, semiconscious, Chitwood said.
The nun remembers little about her attackers but believes that there were two, and that her main assailant appeared to be between 13 and 15 years old, Chitwood said.
While she was on the ground, the attackers pulled at her bag, all the while kicking and stomping her, not quitting until she let go of her bag, according to police.
The thieves got away with her identification card, her Social Security card, her keys and a few bank cards, Chitwood said.
After the attackers fled on Hampden Road, the nun lay frightened and paralyzed until a boy with a bookbag attended to her and rang the convent door for help, Quinn said.
"One bad kid and one good kid," Quinn said.
"Pray for the [bad kid] who had a bad experience in his early childhood, so that he could learn from that and be better.
"And thank God for the angel."
The nun suffered a fractured pelvis, injuries to her right eye and a facial cut that required five stitches, police said.
She was taken to Delaware County Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and released, and she has since had trouble walking, Chitwood said.
The parish complex is directly across the street from the site of a brutal November home invasion in which Hoa Pham, a Vietnamese immigrant and an active member of St. Alice's Parish, was murdered.
His alleged killer, Jermaine Burgess, was held for trial after a preliminary hearing Monday.
"It makes a person feel that these two things have followed one another in too short a period of time," Quinn said.
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