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Police: 7-Year-Old A Suspect In Violent Home Invasion In Juniata

By Elizabeth Hur

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- An Eyewitness News exclusive -- a violent home invasion has Philadelphia police hunting for some preteen suspects.

Authorities say they beat a 51-year-old woman with some unusual items, including a plunger.

Police say it happened around 3:30 p.m. on Monday in the 1200 block of Luzerne Street.

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Authorities say a family friend found the victim in the backyard, on her knees, crying and begging for her life to be spared.

When police arrived, they found her room ransacked, cabinets emptied and the victim, an Asian female with mental disabilities, beaten and robbed.

"They hit her in the face with a rock, they used rope and also sticks and a potted plant," Lt. John O'Hanlon explained.

Police say the three suspects, described by the victim as black juveniles, ran away with the victim's purse. Police were eventually able to identify the suspects as 7, 10 and 12-year-old boys.

"It's amazing that these kids so young can be so violent," Lt. O'Hanlon added.

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We talked to the victim's family friend who asked that we don't identify her. "They just followed her. She just got back from doing laundry. When she got home, they beat her and threw stuff into the house."

The victim was rushed to Temple University Hospital to be treated for cuts and bruises to her face and knees.

The family friend added, "They kept asking for money and they took her purse with some important paper in there."

Neighbor Edward Pastoriza said, "It doesn't surprise me. A lot of these kids, they hang around with older kids and they learn how to do things like this."

It turns out, the 10-year-old suspect was a neighbor of the victim. He was arrested almost immediately.

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The victim's family friend explained, "The parents came to apologize and after they saw what happened, they said to call the police."

Lt. O'Hanlon added, "The mother knew something was wrong when she saw the police and she basically came outside and said, 'Here he is.'"

As of late Monday, police say they believe they have identified the remaining two suspects as 7 and 12-year-old boys. Police expect to arrest them shortly and charge the 10 and 12-year-olds with Home Invasion Robbery and related offenses.

By law, we are told, the 7-year-old is too young to be charged with a crime.

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