[UPDATE] ‘I Have a Broken Nose and Several Fractures…,’ Says 76-Year-Old Assault Victim
An elderly business owner says she was punched in the face and sent to the hospital with a broken nose and several fractures by a man she asked to leave her restaurant on Sunday.
Helga “Ivonne” Morgan, age 76, was cooking at her restaurant, the Stuft Potato, off Broadway in Eureka before 9 a.m. on Sunday. “This individual came in like four times,” she said. “He opened the door, stood inside, and stared at the ceiling. When he took his eyes away from the ceiling, I had a chance to motion….I did what I always do with people I want to leave because I am alone.” She indicated with her hand for him to leave. Twice, she said, he did. But he kept coming back. The third time, as he opened the door, a dog came inside.“Dog can not be in the restaurant,” she said she told the man. Again he left, this time with the dog.
Several customers including at least one fireman came in. This made Morgan feel safe. When the man returned again, this time instead of motioning him away, Morgan went over to the door to ask him to leave.
“I opened the door,” she said. “I stood outside.” Unexpectedly, the man hit her. “One punch in the nose,” Morgan said. “I fell back and hit my head on the concrete. Blood went everywhere. Now I have a broken nose and several fractures in my face.”
Some of Morgan’s customers tackled the man and held him for the police.
Capt. Steve Watson of the Eureka Police Department reported that Jason Curtis is the suspect who was tackled. “He has a history of assaultive behavior,” said Watson. “[He’s] looking at significant state prison time. This is a particularly callous and heinous crime.” He said Curtis will be charged with felony assault with great bodily injury and probation violations among other crimes.
Meanwhile, Morgan’s restaurant is closed as she recovers. “I go to work every day,” said Helga Morgan sadly. “I go and cook every day. Now I have to have reconstructive surgery.”
UPDATE: According to a friend, Helga Morgan’s insurance “will not cover the loss of income due to being closed for two weeks, staff wages, or loss of all prepped and refrigerated food. Not to mention pain and suffering.” If you would like to donate to help, you can depostit money at Umpqua Bank under the name Helga “Ivonne” Morgan.