FONTANA (CBSLA.com) — A three-time cancer survivor suffered major brain injuries after being ambushed in a Fontana parking lot by two armed men who are now being sought by police.
Fontana police officials say 52-year-old Marybel Centeno was walking to her car after leaving a Metro PCS store in the 16900 block of Foothill Boulevard at 7:21 p.m. last Wednesday when she was grabbed by the back of her neck and held up at gunpoint.
One of the men ripped off her gold chain necklace before she was able to struggle and force him to drop his gun. She ran away and was tackled to the ground by the robber, who then pistol-whipped her.
“I’m really afraid that…they’re desperate to kill. Really,” Centeno said.
The suspects were described as black men in their early 20s to 30s with thin builds. They were seen leaving the area in a black 1996 to 2002 Mercedez-Benz E-class, four-door sedan with tinted windows and a possible sun roof, driven by an unknown female driver.
Centeno was treated for brain injuries and says she now has trouble with her memory.
“She wakes up in pain everyday and she’s frustrated because she can’t remember little words,” her daughter, April Centeno, said.
Fontana police released security video of the attacker and another man who got away in the dark Mercedes with a woman at the wheel.
Detectives are checking pawn shops for Centeno’s necklace. They say they’re investigating two other similar.
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspects can contact Fontana police Detective Roth at (909) 350-7724.
Meanwhile, deputies in Orange County gave CBS2’s Michele Gile a crash-course in self-defense.
So, what can you do, besides, being ready to brawl?
“Having your hands free, having your head on a swivel, taking a peek around and knowing what’s going on around you as opposed to having your head buried in your cell phone or a book,” said Orange County Dep. Josh Beeney.