71-year-old woman assaulted in West Seattle

12/12 Update: The clerk who was brutally attacked inside the Juneau Street Market in West Seattle is expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the suspect accused in the violent attack, Farrel Ditschinger, had his first court date Wednesday.

According to the court, Ditschinger, 51, who is behind bars at the King County Jail, did something inappropriate and couldn't make it to court.

“So it's my understanding there may also be some mental health issues, based on his classification,” King County District Judge Anne Harper said.

The judge waived Ditschinger's appearance and found probable cause for attempted robbery, since the attacker was also caught on camera trying to access the cash register after beating the woman with handcuffs and a knife.

“She was covered in blood, literally covered in blood,” the victim’s daughter, Dodie Nelson, said tearfully.

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Despite a relentless beating that lasted five minutes, the woman, 71, never stopped trying to fight back. Amazingly, she will be OK. She's a beloved West Seattle resident, and though she doesn't want her name released,  she and her family do want you to see the severity of her injuries. She's had to get stitches and staples and has a black eye and a broken bone in her eye socket.

But she's alive, and for that, her daughter credits the delivery driver who walked in on the attack and pulled her outside to safety.

“He saved my mom's life,” Nelson said.

But it was clear, she wasn't going down without a fight.

“Oh my God. Am I proud of her? There’s no better woman on this earth than my mother,” added Nelson.

The issue of Ditschinger’s bail was deferred until Thursday.

Click here for more information on how to help the woman.

Previous Coverage: 

A 71-year-old woman was assaulted in a robbery in West Seattle on Tuesday afternoon.

Police responded to a robbery in the 5900 block of California Avenue SW. According to police, the woman was robbed and stabbed several times with a small knife, sustaining puncture wounds to her head, face and hands.

"The [911] call indicated that a male was assaulting a female inside the store and that the woman was screaming for assistance," Detective Mark Jamieson said in a statement. "A delivery driver and another customer happened to walk into the store while the assault was occurring and pulled the victim to safety. The suspect then retreated to the back of the store and ran out the back door just as officers were arriving."

The suspect, 51, was arrested after a brief foot chase. Officers also deployed a Taser.

"Seattle Fire responded and treated the victim for multiple puncture wounds she sustained while being stabbed and hit by the suspect," Jamieson said. "The victim was transported to Harborview Medical Center where she is being treated for her injuries.

"Officers discovered that the suspect attempted to access the cash register drawer during the assault. The suspect was transported to headquarters where he was interviewed by robbery detectives. Following the interview, the suspect was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of robbery and investigation of assault."

The investigation is ongoing.

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