[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.

Jason Curtis

Jason Curtis has been charged with felony assault. [Mugshot provided by the Eureka Police Department]

“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.




  • Let us know when you are reopened, and my family will come in to your establishment.

  • the misadventures of bunjee

    Jason needs prison time or better, to be in a mental health facility. He just cannot stay out of trouble. I know him and have seen him lose it numerous times. He has a lot of demons in his head. Unfortunately he also chooses to fight them and anybody around him that so much as says hello.

    He usually has a couple dogs with him. They’re about his comfort and sanity in the world as he can’t keep it together. In fact, I’ve tried to help find temporary homes for them when he would get locked up. The mugshot, if current, is about the best one of his I’ve ever seen. If he is released on an OR, he will be back in jail within a day, and that is unfortunate.

    • Sorry about you’re friend, but damn 76 years old and a punch to the face like that could have killed that poor lady, he needs help and to deal with the consequences of beating an elderly, I just think of how I would feel if someone punched my grandma… I would go nuts

    • Best mug shot in what way? Color and composition, eyes focused on one thing, or battle scars?

      • the misadventures of bunjee

        He looks cleaned up in that photo. Much more than when I’d see him around town. I wouldn’t call him a friend, rather someone I just ran into frequently, and know of his past through people that have known him for years. A troubled past, PTSD, anger issues (obviously), substance abuse (although he had been clean a while the last time I spoke to him a couple years ago). On his good days he’d try to keep it together and was friendly, but all it would take was one irritable person or some voice in his head and he’d snap. (edit) Don’t think that I’m feeling sympathetic for him, I just know a few pieces of his life. He needs to be locked up or in a facility as there’s no rehabbing him. You might get a decent day or two out of him and then he goes off the deep end again.

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Ya, HOJ has seen him around quite a bit lurking too, but punching somebody unprovoked because of mental health issues is more of an attitude in need of adjustment, not mental health……the guy is thuggish in his own way……an old lady…..unless he had A/V on him to prove something completely different than print, well……an old lady…..

    • He should NEVER be released or OR’d. That would be insane and inhuman. Sure hope this hard working senior recovers soon.

    • Where are the dogs now, I really couldn’t care less about him, but I am concerned about the dogs..

  • Eureka has too many problems and problem people. I have seen such a terrible decline in the city over the past 10 years. When is enough, enough?

    It sounds as if he was on probation and there wasn’t anyone keeping an eye on him. Why is that?

    I hope Helga will be OK. What a terrible thing for anyone to have to suffer though, and she’s 76 years old. It makes someone want to close up shop and go somewhere else when they hear things like this.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      He was homeless. He would find a place to stay from time to time for a couple nights until whomever he was with got tired of dealing with his issues. He had some money, disability with a payee handling it as far as I knew. I never saw him panhandling, so he was able to keep himself fed, but not much else.

  • I’m so sorry this has happened to you,glad your ok.god bless you

  • Im kinda tired of excuses for these types of folks. He needs mental health. Dont we all. Im sure this elderly lady who works hard everyday wont have any ptsd or anxiety going to work at her restaurant when creeps like this still roam the streets. My compassion is gone. [edit] I’m sure he’s probably out by now and back to his crappy existence, if not prison will probaly be an upgrade for him. Meanwhile this woman may never fully recover from this incident.

  • Sounds like he should of been locked up and the key thrown away a long time ago ……..

  • These is a prime example of his family tree is a telephone pole .

  • I have to get on board with this people with mental problems Need help we need to address the Mentally ill people in this county They have no real help They are not thugs they are people with issues They wouldn’t cause problems if they had help

    • OHH please! Help, as in medication? Dope him out of his brain is his only help. Punching a 76 year old lady in the face, crosses lines and I lose any compassion. What kind of help do you suggest?

    • Sorry Lorrie, don’t have it in me any more to continue to see the slide we are experiencing in Eureka and the County in general. there are so many, SO MANY programs out there for people like this and the homeless to utilize. We pay taxes to support these programs but the shit heads don’t want to use them (because they have to give up drugs, dogs, or deal with rules) or can’t use them because they can’t stay straight.

      Give them compassion, give them assistance, if they don’t take it, take their right to roam the streets and steal and continue to destroy this community!!

      Enough is enough already. Comment above “if someone punched my grandma” this tweaker excuse for a human being would be gone.

    • Most of it is caused by self induced drug abuse,irreversible. Especially in Methereka!

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Mentally ill are not known to come back and assault people……talking aloud crazy words and stuff….maybe, if they ain’t faking it to get off the streets……..and maybe this thug needs to be beat too, and karma decided prison will be where he gets his ass beat.

  • I’d love to see the community come together to mitigate any financial difficulties missing work might inflict on Ivonne.

  • LeAnna Carson-Hansen

    Yes they are thugs when they assault people.

    I agree that our society does not address mental health issues in a proactive manner to keep the mentally ill safe and treated, nor does our society protect innocent folks from being victimized by the mentally ill who roam our streets without treatment.

    What is the answer?

    There is not enough professionals willing to work in our county with the mentally ill.

    And those that choose to face an overwhelming task of helping as many as possible.

    Thankfully there were patrons of the restaurant willing and able to subdue the man.

    He is blessed in that one of them did not choose to subdue him with the use of a weapon.

    The owner of the restaurant needs our community support and we can do that by patronizing her establishment once she reopens.

    Hope she has kin and friends who can help her out during her recovery.

    • Ariel, I’m with you! Ivonne is a wonderful lady who works hard and creates the most wonderful German dishes (besides the stuffed potatoes!) Now, she has to close her doors until she recovers…no income, her staff are out of work…no income… until she returns. I don’t know how, but maybe something like Go Fund Me could be set up to help her. I’ll sure donate if someone knows how to do this kind of thing.

      • I wondered about Go Fund Me too. Their site says:

        If you’d like to raise money for someone else and are located in the US, you must first make sure your beneficiary is a US citizen, at least 18 years of age, and has a US mailing address, phone number, and bank account.

        To get started, create your GoFundMe campaign here: http://www.gofundme.com/sign-up/

        When you are finished creating your account, or click ‘Withdraw’ on your GoFundMe Dashboard at any time, you’ll be asked whether you’re raising money for ‘Myself’ or ‘Someone Else’. If you select the ‘Someone Else’ option, you can enter your beneficiary’s email and name to send them a beneficiary invitation. Once they accept the invitation, they’ll have sole access to your campaign’s donations.

        If anyone can provide the details, the rest sounds easy.

        • Mary Ann etall, gofundme takes 9% of the money raised. Better you should start a credit union account and have people deposit $$ directly. Much better deal for Ivonne. Too bad her staff are not trained well enough to keep her business up and running. Guess that’s her business model.

  • My Grandma is your Grandma

    So now one fine hard working senior has lost her source of income. Not to mention how bills to keep the brick and mortar building together start adding up. She will have recovery time and medical bills.

    And this creep gets three hots and a cot.

    Something is certainly out of kilter here. Lock him up. Throw away the key.

    • It costs an average of about $47,000 per year to incarcerate an inmate in prison in California. Over two-thirds of these costs are for security and inmate health care. Since 2000-01, the average annual cost has increased by about $19,500.

  • Maybe she should have offered him a hot buttered tatter up his jerky kazoo! We hope he gets about 8 yrs. in the calaboose…that ought to sobre this jerkovitch and maybe get his eye fixed in the same fell/ swoop. Tough women that Ivonne. Bless you !

  • What a horrible thing to happen to such an amazing woman. She cooks (almost completly single handedly) ever day and hour her restaurant is open. If she goes to the bank; u wait. Best home made German food ever. Hole in the wall by Big5. Best kept secret in Eureka. The secret should be out and I hope she is able to recover physically, emotionally, and financially from this. SUPPORT ‘THE STUFFED POTATO’!!!
    Absolutely behind a GoFundMe.

  • This is horrendous! An innocent, hardworking senior citizen positively contributing to our community is brutally assaulted! Angers me. The physical healing will happen, albeit slowly…BUT the post trauma? That will take years, sadly. I was assaulted 9 years ago & remember it vividly. Prayers to Ivonne & financial help is a great idea. Hope she recovers quickly.

  • The idiot could have killed an elderly person with a punch like that. I hope that he gets put away permanently. Kym, please keep us updated on her progress and if she’s able to reopen. I would love to go to her restaurant!

  • No wonder she thought he was staring at the ceiling.

  • Only on Kyms site would you get comments from people feeling sorry for this piece of shit.

  • from the stuft potato facebook page…

    “Larissa here, Ivonnes friend.. I have set up a donative account in her name at umpqua bank. Her business insurance is not going to cover any of this. She is out lost income, staff wages lost as well as all prepped and refrigerated food. Many people have asked how to help, this money will go to cover some of these huge expenses associated with this senseless act. The account is under her name Helga “Ivonne” Morgan and can be made at any Umpqua branch.
    She goes into surgery tomorrow so keep her in your prayers. Hopefully she recovers quickly from the surgery and she is back to doing what she loves.
    I will keep everyone informed as I can. Larissa”

    let’s help this poor lady out,people..
    let’s show her for every freak crazy-eye roaming the streets, there are 100 good,caring people in this wonderful community we live in 🙂

    thought this info should get posted asap before people lose interest.. maybe an “update” will get them to revisit this article, kym?

  • I just moved out of Eureka for that very reason
    I can truly sympathize with what happened to the lady …. After so many thefts and intimidation by psychos in Old Town as I was selling jewelry- where I had been for 11 years- I finally have been able to move out of town and out of state

    In this last year the population of psychos had increased a thousand fold…and the town itself pays the psychos to stay thru housing and money.

    Eureka needs a residential mental institution …. Then the word would get out thru their free phones…. And they would move to another town that does not have a mental institution …

    I certainly hope she recovers and can continue to do what she loves to do

  • Oh No! I remember when Ivonne and her son first moved here and opened up in Henderson Center. She lost him in a car accident a few years ago. I’ll donate as well as send some flowers.

  • This is such a heartbreaking story, particularly since her insurance is not covering her losses while she is unable to open her business doors! For those who wish to help her, a go find me page has been set up: https://www.facebook.com/isabella.chino.5/posts/1833632800241057

  • This piece of shit was booked 10/23 on an O.R. Misdemeanor & released the next day! Checked the jail reports on line! Really?! Prop 47 needs repealed now!!!
    He was outside her business again this morning yelling at the wall & looking very agitated! I work next door…
    I called EPD, but he packed up & left as I was doing so. The disbatcher even said because of prop 47 they could not keep him because he did not use a weapon! Seriously?! Unbelievable…

  • We have set up a go fund me as well as a donative account in her name at Umpqua Bank. Just tell the teller Helga “Ivonne” Morgan. The bank account if you can manage to bring money there is without any fees. In fact the bank gave her a couple cash Visa cards to help her when we set it up.
    Go fund me is great for sharing though and is helping a lot, but they do take a percentage. Here is that link. https://www.gofundme.com/aid-to-ivonne?pc=fb_co_shareflow_w&rcid=fe8345149e3e11e68e6ebc764e063e01

  • Erica battaglieri

    I have known this woman and her son from the first her business and she makes the best food ever. She has worked hard her whole life. She enjoys what she does. She loves everyone and has a. Big heart I pray for a speedy recovery Sending hugs and prayers
    This is beyond terrible. 💞💞

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