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Ladera Ranch cleaning woman attacked

July 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Orange County Sheriff's Department needs your help to catch two men who attacked, robbed and stabbed a cleaning woman. The woman said the attackers yelled racial insults at her during the attack.Maria Guadarrama shows the wounds on her arm, the result of an attack by two men in the quiet community of Ladera Ranch. Speaking in Spanish, the 45-year-old says she doesn't understand why they did that.

It happened just before 10:30 a.m. July 4. Guadarrama, a custodian for a homeowners association in Ladera Ranch, was driving a golf cart, emptying trash.

She was outside the community's clubhouse on Covenant Hills Drive when the first suspect confronted her. She alleges that he grabbed her around the neck. She elbowed him. He let go. The other suspect grabbed her and ripped her shirt open.

She says they told her, "You're worthless, you're Mexican." She claims one had a swastika tattoo on his left arm.

She was crying, trying to get away, when one pushed her to the ground. She hit her head on the golf cart. At one point, one suspect grabbed her wallet and her cell phone and told her not to scream, not to say anything.

Then she claims one suspect pulled out a switchblade and tried to slice her face. She raised her arm to defend herself.

She says she was really nervous. Her thoughts were, "They're going to kill me, they're going to kill me."

They eventually took off with nearly $800 from her wallet, her rent money.

"For young people to have this kind of hate, this is a very discpicalbe, cowardly act," said Jim Amormino, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

The assault and robbery are considered a hate crime.

"I'm not used to hearing that type of stuff here," said local resident Jennifer Donaldson. "I don't think they live here. We're a very diverse community, so I can't imagine that person living here."

Guadarrama describes one suspect as a white male, 24 to 26 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds. He has a shaved head, blue eyes and a black goatee. He had a swastika tattoo on his left arm.

The other suspect is white, 18 to 20 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing between 180 to 200 pounds. He has brown eyes and short hair. He was clean-shaven.

Since Guadarrama fought back, the first suspect, the suspect with the swastika tattoo, may have scratches to his face or his chest.

If you saw what happened, call the Orange County Sheriff's Dept. at (866) 847-6273.

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