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90-Year-Old Mary Veronelli Beaten During Paterson Home Invasion

PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - A  90-year-old woman was beaten during a break-in at her home in Paterson.

Authorities believe she may have been targeted, though the suspect has not yet been arrested.

"It was horrible. You can't run. You can't move," Veronelli told CBS2's Natalie Duddridge.

She still has two black eyes from the attack she suffered in the middle of the night on Jan. 14. She was asleep in her bed when she heard her back windows smash, then saw a man come into her room.

"Started beating me. Dragged me out of bed, and was pounding me," Veronelli said.

She managed to grab her phone, and tried call 911 and her son. The suspect took off.

She was hospitalized for a week and had to get 20 staples in her head. She was finally well enough to be released to her son Robert's home, where she's now recovering. He says the strangest part is nothing was stolen.

"He didn't take any money. Simply just beat her to beat her," Robert Veronelli said.

Robert Veronelli said he can only think of one person who had an issue with his mother, a handyman.

"Used to help my mom out. They had a conflict because of some money missing. We think maybe he needs to be interviewed and some questions asked," he said.

Police haven't made any arrests, but Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh says officers may be zeroing in on a suspect.

"They are making progress, but it appears to be an isolated incident," Sayegh said. "He probably targeted her and preyed on a poor 90-year-old  woman."

Mary Veronelli said she won't feel comfortable coming back to her Paterson home until the suspect is caught.

"I feel if he's arrested my neighborhood will be fine," she said.

For now, she'll stay with her son and his guard dog, Moose, who has not left her side.

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