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Grandma attacked, thrown in river

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Headed home from an evening walk, Sandy Ivey said she was in disbelief when a man grabbed her, wrapping his arm tightly around her waist.

She was just about to cross the Colfax Street Bridge Wednesday night when a man snuck up behind her. “You never really think that will happen to you,”61-year-old Ivey said.

The grandmother kicked and screamed as the man pulled her down to the boat docks below the bridge, but could not break free from this man’s grip.

“Help me! Call the police, help me! Call my home. …I was screaming anything,” Ivey said.

There were a lot of people on and around the bridge just after 9 PM, Ivey figured someone would do something to stop this man and save her.

“You’d think so busy of a place, I mean…somebody,” Ivey said. She screamed and screamed but no one ever came, “It isn’t normal to yell for help and just have to just keep yelling.”

Ivey said she saw people up on the bridge above her as she continued to struggle to get away; they had heard her screams and lined up along the railing but just watched.

“People were up there, you could see them and I’m screaming at them.” Ivey said. “…But I guess he saw them too because, they were just everywhere.”

The man didn’t mind the audience at first; he demanded Ivey hand over her purse. She refused and squeezed onto the strap that wrapped over her shoulder.

Ivey described everything that man said to her, “Give me your purse, I want your purse, and I said ‘no, you can’t have my purse.’ …And I thought there are people up there looking at me.”

Ivey’s son, Shaun Ivey said he’s outraged by the whole thing, “Just disgust, I cannot believe people around here would be like that,” Shaun said. “It’s just mind boggling.”

Finally, with no thanks to any of the witnesses, the man gave up; he shoved Ivey off of the dock and into the St. Joseph River and fled.
Still, no one came down to help her. Ivey said she sat down by the river, wet and freezing. She kept on shouting for help as she shook with fear.

Shaun Ivey said, “There is a woman down there screaming for her life and there are people up there crossing the street and no one stops to help.”

Ivey said after the man fled she watched at least ten people walk over the bridge who ignored her and her screams, “Help me, somebody help me! … I mean please, somebody call the police.”

No one ever did call police, but an officer on bicycle patrol rode by and heard her calls for help. He went down to the dock, rescued Ivey, and called in an ambulance.

Ivey said she got a few bumps and bruises but just wanted to go home. Before officers dropped her off just a couple miles away, Ivey did file a police report and the South Bend Police Department is investigating.

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