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Elderly crime victim says she refuses to live in fear

Last Updated Oct 16, 2019 at 6:37 pm EST

Thanksgiving turned into a harrowing day for an 87-year-old Annex resident who was allegedly attacked and robbed as she walked down the streets of her neighbourhood on Monday.

But less than 48 hours later, Lily Gibson is back on her feet and says she refuses to live in fear.

“I have a fairly active life. I’m not going to stop. My life will goes on as usual,” she tells CityNews.

“I was just walking leisurely down Bloor Street East and cut down Brunswick and about half way down the block, I felt somebody tugging at my purse that I was carrying,” she explains. “I thought a friend of mine was playing a joke.”

Gibson says she soon realized someone was trying to snatch her purse and as she tried to grab it, her hand was injured.

“You see the three fingers here? They are bandaged up because they are scraped quite badly,” she says.

The suspect approached her from behind around the dinner hour on a residential street.

“He pushed me to the ground and I’ve had four hip operations. So once I’m down I can’t get up unless I get help,” Gibson explains. “I was screaming and screaming.”

Neighbours did come to her assistance, but the suspect had long fled. Police and paramedics were called and Gibson says they arrived promptly.

Police are now appealing to the public for assistance in locating a suspect.

He is described as six feet tall, with a thin build. He was last seen wearing a dark toque, two-toned hooded sweater, dark pants, dark shoes and carrying a white bag. Any one with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

Man wanted in Robbery investigation, Bloor Street West/Brunswick Avenue. HANDOUT/Toronto Police Service

Gibson, who moved to her home in 1964, says she still loves her neighbourhood and doesn’t plan on stopping her walks.

“Of course — I don’t want fear to dominate my movements.”