86-year-old recovering after attack
Vivian Squires, the 86-year-old grandmother who was stabbed and robbed in her Springfield Gardens home on Sunday, leaves Mary Immaculate Hospital. Photo by Christina Santucci
By Anna Gustafson

Vivian Squires, the 86-year-old grandmother who fought off an attacker who robbed and stabbed her four times in her Springfield Gardens home  Sunday, left Mary Immaculate Hospital Tuesday afternoon, softly singing “I’m going home, I’m going home, I’m going home.”

Squires left the hospital with 60 stitches in her back and neck — and a renewed vision of working with troubled youth in the area, one of whom she expects was the attacker who stole her cash, jewelry and a 2004 gold Chrysler Sebring.

“I told myself, “Vivian, you’ve got too much to do, you can’t die,” Squires said of her thoughts during the attack. “You have to have a reason to live, and I want to work with kids. I had started up a project called Pull Your Pants Up, but I hadn’t been working on it. Now I want to work on that. I like working with people others have given up on.”

The program may be launched in conjunction with the 113th Precinct and would help youth who have gotten into trouble for drugs or crime, said Casselle Beckles, Squires’ 65-year-old daughter.

No arrests have been made in connection with the attack on Squires, and police said the investigation was ongoing. Squires’ friends and family members said they suspect it was someone on drugs.

“Who else would be able to do something like that?” Squires’ friend, Lilla Roberts, of Jamaica, asked.

The assault took place shortly before 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, police said. Squires, a retired pre-school teacher who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 50 years, was asleep when she heard a noise in her room. Believing it was her tenant who is like a nephew to Squires, Anthony Davis, 55, she was shocked when the individual jumped on her and began to smother her with a pillow.

“He slashed my throat, and I thought I was dying,” Squires said. “We tousled and tousled, and fell on the floor, and I kept trying to remember the fighting moves I’d seen in the movies. I just kept saying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

After cutting her throat twice and stabbing her in the back twice, the attacker ran away.

“I’m still praying for him,” Squires said of her assaulter.

Anthony Davis was home and asleep during the attack, said his sister, Ronelle Davis.

In 2007, now 102-year-old Jamaica estates resident Rose Morat was beaten and robbed in her home. Long Island City resident Jack Rhodes has been accused of the assault against Morat as well as with beating and robbing 87-year-old Solange Elizee in her Jamaica home.

Queens elected officials expressed outrage after the attacks, which sparked lawmakers to pass and the governor to sign legislation sponsored by state Sen. Frank Padavan that increases criminal penalties for attacks on senior citizens.

Prior to the law being signed in May, it was a misdemeanor to cause physical harm to another person. Under the new legislation, the assault of a person 65 years old or over would be classified as a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.

Skip to toolbar