Teen, 16, arrested for assaulting 74-year-old South Bend woman

The location of the assault on Belmont in South Bend // WSBT 22

Four teen boys were arrested after South Bend police say at least one of them hit 74-year-old Anne Silverman over the head.

Silverman told police she was going to her car Thursday morning in the 1200 block of Belmont Avenue when three boys came up to her.

Silverman says the boys wanted her car. She told police they hit her over the head hard enough to see stars. Then three of the young men drove away with the vehicle.

Silverman fell to the ground hard enough to break her hip. Police say she could be in recovery for months.

"She wasn't really able to get a good description to us because, as she put it, she was dizzy. They hit her pretty hard,” said Ken Garcia, South Bend police spokesman.

Neighbors say they were shocked to hear about the crime.

Everyone said Belmont Avenue is a tight-knit neighborhood that never has any trouble.

One neighbor even described Silverman and her husband as the "governors" of the neighborhood.

"She's the sweetest, nicest lady,” said Erin Beltran, who lives on Belmont. “We talk to her every day. She walks up and down the street a couple times a day. She stops and talks to the kids all the time. Just the sweetest, sweetest lady. I can't imagine anyone wanting to harm her."

Police saw Silverman's Lexus pulling out of an apartment complex on Jefferson Boulevard later in the day Thursday.

"Our patrol unit called it in,” said Garcia. “There was a very short chase that ended at another apartment complex and those four juveniles were with that vehicle and they're the ones they took into custody at the time."

Two of the boys are 16 and the others are 15 and 17.

One of those 16 year olds had a lot to say to police.

"During the confession process or the interview process with our detective he admitted that he was the one involved in that,” said Garcia.

Garcia says the young man was arrested for robbery resulting in serious bodily harm.

“A level 5 felony, as well as resisting by car, which is a felony, and then resisting, which is a misdemeanor,” said Garcia. “…we really hope the community gets involved with the police department, because it will be a team effort to prevent these senseless crimes from happening."

Beltran says her community will stay strong for Silverman.

"I'm sure they'll do something for them because they're like the governors of the street, they're really nice, they know everybody and take care of everybody,” said neighbor Beltran.

The other three boys are facing resisting arrest charges. One could be facing a charge of marijuana possession.

Another neighbor on Belmont says it's not uncommon these days to hear about cars getting ransacked, but this is the first assault she's seen in the neighborhood.

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