FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - A Federal Way woman is recovering after getting hit in the face with a rock after she got off a bus. The incident was caught on surveillance video, but her family says it's the words the suspect used during the attack that has her family fearing for their mother's safety.
"Mexican, give me the bag. Give me the bag," Laura Martinez Munoz recalled her attacker saying.
Munoz told FOX 13 she was getting off her usual bus stop at the Federal Way Transit Center on April 15 around 10:45 a.m. when she noticed a man following her.
The 63-year-old grandmother, who is legally blind in her left eye, says she tried to avoid him by picking up receipts she found along the way, but he continued to follow her.
The elderly woman says she stood her ground when he demanded her bag, refusing to hand it over, thinking not of the money, but the personal documents she was carrying.
Then, she ran.
She says she heard the man calling her. She quickly turned around despite the racial slurs, and next thing she knew, she felt a sharp pain in her mouth.
The man had thrown at rock her face.
"Yo dije el me va matar el, me va matar," Munoz said. She says the only thing going through her head was ‘he’s going to kill me; he’s going to kill me.’
Maria Judd, Laura’s daughter, said she and her siblings are distraught that their mother was disrespected.
"I'm pretty sure my mom is never going to forget those words. She's going to remember those words for the rest of her life, unfortunately," Judd said.
The attack happened at Munoz’s usual bus stop, one she’s been using for five years to get to one of her two jobs.
She says this is the first time in 20 years of using public transportation that she’s ever feared for her life or has been forced to hide behind bushes and run despite, there being a police station just a few feet away.
Munoz says the rock broke in two pieces when the man hit her.
The aftermath of the attack was visible on her face. She had to get four stitches inside her mouth and two on her cheek, one molar broke and several of her teeth are still shifting.
One of her sons went back to the bus station where he found the rock his mother was hit with and one of the several molars she’s now missing from the attack.
With tears in her eyes, the grandmother says she’s terrified to ride the bus after she was attacked.
She’s sharing her story in hopes the terrifying moments she lived through won’t happen to someone else.
She says her greatest concern is knowing this man didn’t have compassion for her, an elderly woman, which makes her fear what else he could be capable of.
"Tengo terror," Munoz said.
Munoz says she’s terrified of riding the bus again. The rise in crime is pushing her to warn others to be wary of who’s around them.
She still has medical treatment pending.
Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for any information that leads to the attacker’s arrest. Tips can be submitted anonymously through the P3 Tips App or at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).