An elderly woman is recovering after being viciously attacked in broad daylight along a University City sidewalk by a man recently released from prison.
74-year-old Elizabeth Hardaway was talking with another woman as she waited for her bus to arrive at the corner of 39th and Market Streets just before 1 p.m. on Thursday when a man suddenly approached, according to Philadelphia Police.
Police say that man, identified as 43-year-old Alexander Brown, grabbed Hardaway by the hair, pulled her to the wall of a nearby building and violently banged her head into the brick twice for no apparent reason.
Brown then fled the scene, but was quickly apprehended a short time later by police.
Meanwhile, Hardaway was taken to Pennsylvania Hospital for treatment. She remains there bruised and with her leg in a brace.
"It's a guy who should never be on the streets of Philadelphia again and people should be outraged by his actions," Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker said.
However, the elderly mother's family is now questioning why Brown, who has a violent history, was able to make his way back onto the city's streets and hurt the woman.
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Brown was recently released from prison on probation after serving 10 years for the 2003 murder of his mother. In that case, Brown admitted to suffocating the 76-year-old woman to death using several plastic bags. Her decomposing body was found some time later inside her home.
"I don't understand. Why is he out? It's apparent something wrong," said Hardaway's daughter Victoria Vines. "Nobody was, you know, monitoring him?"
NBC10 attempted to reach out to Brown's probation officer to learn when the last time he checked in, but that call has yet to be returned.
"The fact that he's out. Something has to be done," Vines said.
Brown has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person and Harassment. He is being held on $175,000 bail. A status hearing is scheduled for next Friday.