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Teen Arrested In Assault Of Elderly Woman Outside Of Church

HOMESTEAD (KDKA) -- An 82-year-old woman went home Thursday after spending two weeks first in the hospital, and then in rehab.

She was discharged hours after 18-year-old Michael Duku of the North Side was taken into custody on charges including robbery, assault and conspiracy.

Police say Duku and another man shoved the elderly woman to the sidewalk two weeks ago after she attended Sunday church services in Homestead. Duku ran off with her purse.

Rev. Robert Buczak of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, where the woman has been a long-time member of the congregation, said he paid several visits to the woman since she was assaulted.

Buczak told KDKA-TV's Ralph Iannotti that she's in good spirits, adding, "She suffered a broken shoulder, broken orbital bones in her face and a big cut above her eye. She'll be in a sling for six to eight weeks now."

Buczak said the woman forgives the robbers who attacked her, and then he said he felt "they would have gotten more in church, than they got out of her purse."

Duku was identified by an eyewitness who recognized his mug shot. He was picked up by a constable.

Homestead Mayor Betty Esper said she was relieved to hear that at least one suspect has been arrested.

"You don't want any church to feel that [parishioners] can come out of Sunday services after praying and they are afraid, you just don't want that," Esper said.

Duku is being held on $75,000 bond.

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