SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — A family visiting from New York says the attack they were subjected to at a coffee shop this week was nothing short of bizarre.
A woman they had never seen before stormed into a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cafe in Santa Monica.
"This woman came in rather stridently walking through the door and sat right down next to us," victim Barbara Lowy said.
The family says she was shouting and cursing to whoever was on the other line.
The woman was well-dressed and didn't appear to be homeless, the family said.
It's when the suspect mentioned "that woman in black and white" during her phone conversation that Lowy realized the suspect was talking about her.
Lowy says she, her husband and her stepdaughter felt so uncomfortable they decided to leave. That's when the suspect allegedly came over and attacked her.
"Suddenly, I felt somebody pull on my hair. All I remember is that I spun around, my neck snapped back, and all I could see was the ceiling," Lowy said. "She also said to me while I was on the ground, 'I'm going to come back with a machine gun and shoot you.'"
The victim's husband tried to stop the woman from leaving.
"I was afraid for Barbara, I was afraid for myself, so I punched her. But she immediately just ran out the door, it was like I didn't even touch her," John Lowy said.
Barbara Lowy was taken to a hospital for a pulled vertebrae and now has to wear a neck brace until it heals.
The attack was caught on security video but the family says Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf won't release the footage to them.
John Lowy said "based on what she did and the threats that she made, she's dangerous."
Santa Monica police say they're investigating the attack. They've seen the security video and say it matches the Lowy family's version of events. Investigators say the motive for the assault is unclear.
The family says people in the area should be on the watch for this woman, who they fear could easily attack again.
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