A woman knocked unconscious outside her Northwest Miami- home last weekend while trying to defend her husband from two robbers underwent brain surgery Friday, her son said.
The surgery was successful, but Miriam Alvarez remains unconscious at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, according to Jesus Alvarez Jr. Her husband, Jesus Alvarez, Sr., also attacked during the robbery, is home after being treated for his own injuries.
Meanwhile, police said Friday they are still hunting for the two men caught on video ambushing and attacking the elderly couple on Dec. 7.
“They were waiting for him at home and it’s brutal what happened,” said Alvarez Jr., speaking to a reporter from the hospital. “That someone could hit a 71-year-old man and a 68-year-old lady with that kind of viciousness. .... They aren’t people, they’re animals. Let’s put it that way.”
A security camera mounted on the couple’s Palmetto Park home north of State Road 826 caught the 9:30 p.m. attack from behind a string of Christmas lights hanging from the roof. It shows two men sneaking onto the property and waiting for Alvarez Sr. to come home.
Alvarez Sr., who according to his son was visiting friends at a party, gets out of his truck and begins closing a gate surrounding his property. One man ambushes him from behind and then the attackers strike him repeatedly before binding his limbs with duct tape and gagging his mouth.
They then drag the victim to a dark corner of the property, take his keys and try to enter the home.
Alvarez Jr. said the family dog, a German shepherd, thwarted a home invasion. But his mother, Miriam, was inside.
Hearing the commotion, which now included her husband’s screams for help, she went outside. The video shows her walk over to defend her husband, and then fall backward as one of the robbers punches her and knocks her to the driveway. The back of her head slams against the pavement.
The two men ran from the home with about $700 they had taken from Alvarez Sr., who eventually freed himself by taking off his pants. He then lay down next to his unconscious wife while a neighbor and Alvarez Jr.’s 97-year-old grandfather, who was also home, called 911.
It was unclear Friday if the robbery was random or if the Alvarez family was targeted for the apparently bungled robbery and brutal attack.
Miami-Dade police spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
But Alvarez Jr. said police are searching diligently for the two attackers.
“They’re doing a really good investigation, 24-7 around-the-clock,” he said.
As for his mother: “The doctors told me surgery was successful. Now it’s just the recovery. They never know how the brain is going to react.”
Police sent out an appeal on Friday asking anyone with information about the robbery and attack to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.