Activist focuses on healing, not anger, after being mugged
Published: Monday, January 2, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 1, 2006 at 10:27 p.m.
The 86-year-old woman thrown to the ground by a man who snatched her purse in downtown Gainesville Wednesday remained hospitalized at Shands at the University of Florida on Sunday.
Doris Bardon, a longtime friend of local arts programs and an environmental activist, suffered a broken left shoulder that may require surgery, said a mostly upbeat Bardon during a telephone conversation.
She also injured her hips during the tussle near the Downtown Community Plaza, leaving her unable to walk.
"My hips were very damaged, but fortunately, not broken," Bardon said.
She said she's too focused on restoring her own health to be angry about the incident.
"My philosophy is instead of frothing to get busy and do something," Bardon said.
"I've been thinking about what can I do to get back into shape."
She had been heading to a Hanukkah celebration when a man came up from behind her, grabbing her, shoving her to the ground and then dragging her as he tried to get her purse.
Gainesville City Commissioner Jack Donovan, who was on his way to City Hall, witnessed the attack and ran after the robber but was unable to catch up to him before he sped off in a vehicle waiting nearby.
"If nothing else it will alert the powers that be that the downtown needs some more vigilant attention for the safety of all of us," Bardon said.
Patrols were increased downtown because of the incident, police said. But police said Sunday they have no suspects at this time.
In the meantime, Bardon's friends have been trying to make her hospital stay as comfortable as possible.
Friends Phillip and Elizabeth Schwartz smuggled in a large package Friday evening that included a menorah, candles and potato pancakes so that Bardon could partake in a traditional Hanukkah meal.
The Schwartzes on Saturday - New Year's Eve - brought champagne, crystal glasses and strawberries, lifting Bardon's spirits. Her body's not far behind.
"Each day, I get a little better," Bardon said. She said she plans to move to a rehabilitation center on Tuesday.
Janine Young Sikes can be reached at (352) 337-0327 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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