In recent months, we've seen an increase in aggravated assaults and robberies in our area. Some have taken a very violent turn, like the recent robbery-turned-murder at the Olive Garden restaurant on Siegen Lane. In this Crime Stoppers report, WAFB's Matt Williams talks with a woman whose daughter is the victim of a robbery that turned out to be very brutal.
23-year-old Erica Grant has been living in Baton Rouge the last few months, just off the LSU campus. She works two jobs, and day-to-day keeps herself pretty busy. Back on September 12 though, her world would change dramatically.
Erica's mother, Tammy Coulier, lives in Michigan and got a call from her daughter's roommate: "Her roommate, Laurie, was crying and said that Erica had been attacked. Then her phone cut out."
For the next 20 minutes, that's all Tammy knew: that her daughter had been attacked. She was finally able to get back in touch, and found out her daughter had been robbed and viciously beaten.
Baton Rouge Police responded to the scene early that morning: "When they arrived on the scene, they found a female laying here on the sidewalk," reports BRPD Detective Mark Beck. "She had some pretty severe injuries to the back of her head."
Detective Beck says a witness actually saw how Erica was picked up, and thrown to the ground: "He actually described it as what he had seen in wrestling, as a pile-driver."
Her head was driven right into the concrete.
Erica's mother remembers talking to the doctor about her injuries: "She had two brain bleeds and if she didn't get surgery right away, she would probably die."
Erica survived her injuries, but her brain has not fully recovered and doctors aren't sure if it ever will.
As for the person who attacked her, the only description is a white man, about 6'2" and between 19 and 25 years old. After attacking Erica, the witness says he saw the man take her purse and run down the street where he met up with two other people, possibly on bikes.
Erica's mother says that whoever did this began text messaging Erica's boyfriend with her daughter's cell phone. She says the man was almost teasing him like it was some kind of game.
If you think you can help, call Crime Stoppers at 344-STOP. You can remain anonymous, and you could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.