Family: West End Starbucks victim remembers horrific attack - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Family: West End Starbucks victim remembers horrific attack

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For the first time, NBC12 is talking with the family of a grandmother who was just starting her shift at a Short Pump Starbucks when she was brutally attacked.

Kathy Vinson was badly beaten and is still in the hospital.

After surviving a horrific beating, Vinson is in a neck brace, her face is swollen and there are bruises from getting kicked in the head multiple times.  Her alleged attacker Worku Asfaw Woldermariam is in jail.

Vinson's family believe this crime was random.  "A completely innocent victim," Vinson's sister-in-law Melissa Christian said.  "All she did was say ‘Good morning!  Aren't you up early?'"

Christian says Vinson and a manager saw Woldermariam outside the Starbucks on West Broad Street just as their shift started at 5 a.m. on Monday.  She says Vinson felt uncomfortable and called Henrico Police's non-emergency number.  When the women opened up the Starbucks, that's when they say Woldermariam attacked.

"As soon as [the manager] unlocked the door, the man came in, walked past the manager and he began beating on my sister-in-law," Christian said.  Police said Woldermariam also injured the manager and kicked a police officer.

Family members say they don't yet know the extent of Vinson's injuries. They say she's in and out of consciousness and can say a few words, but she does remember parts of the attack.

"All she says is, ‘Why did he have to kick me in the head over and over?  Why did he have to hurt me?'" Christian said.

The family says Starbucks and the community have reached out to them about helping Vinson during this terrible time. Christian hopes this is a lesson for other people who work and shop in the area.

"It only takes one time so yeah I think security needs to be stepped up, I think they need to have a presence," she said.

Now this family wonders how this mother of three and grandmother of two will recover after something this terrifying.

If you would like to help you can make a contribution at any BB&T bank through the Kathy J. Vinson Recovery Account.

The sheriff says Woldemariam is being kept in a cell where deputies are monitoring his behavior. He's due back in court next month.

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