Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector assaulted, robbed by teens Friday morning

Teens assault Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector, try to flee in her car Friday morning, police said.

Two teenage boys assaulted City Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector in a parking garage in South Baltimore Friday morning, police said, throwing the 80-year-old to the ground and driving away in her car.

Officers were called to the first block of Pierside Drive off Key Highway at 10:15 a.m. Spector told officers she was getting into her car when she was approached by the two teens.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the teens "pulled her out of the car, slammed her in the ground and punched her in the face."

Davis said she tried to fight off her attackers.

"If it's fight or flight with Rikki Spector, she's choosing fight," he said.

Police said a security gate prevented the teens from exiting the garage. Two garage employees stopped one of the teens until police arrived, police said. The other teen ran from the scene.

Spector was taken to an area hospital, where she was treated and released.

She said in a statement she was "doing well." She thanked the police officers and emergency workers who responded, and "the good Samaritans working in the garage who heard my pleas for help and detained one of the suspects until an officer arrived."

The men who came to her aid were maintenance workers, Davis said.

"They should be commended for their quick action, not just being bystanders," Davis said. "They did a very noble thing this morning."

The teen in custody was being questioned by investigators Friday, Davis said. He said investigators have leads on the second suspect, a boy aged approximately 15.

Under state law, Davis said, the teens cannot be charged as adults.

"These youthful offenders are charged as juveniles for strong-armed robbery," he said. "He'll be home before I am, and that's something you all need to pay attention to."

Davis said robbery is driving much of city's violence. In response, he said, the department has quadrupled its number of robbery detectives.

Carjackings are up 57 percent in Baltimore this year, to 376 through Saturday. Total robberies are up 17 percent.

The city is on pace to hit 300 homicides for the second straight year. There were 344 homicides last year.

Spector, who represents the 5th District in Northwest Baltimore, is the longest-serving member of the council. She was elected in 1977.

She declined to seek re-election this year and will retire next week.

Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer, 27, a business owner, was elected to succeed her.

Spector, the City Council representative to the Maryland Association of Counties, is scheduled to be honored by the association Wednesday.

Virginia White, meetings and events director for the association, said it had scheduled a banquet to honor Spector's 39 years in elected office. Whether the event will continue as planned will be up to Spector, White said.

"Right now, all of our thoughts and wishes are with her for the best recovery," White said. "That's our priority."

City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young visited Spector after the attack, his spokesman said.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she was "extremely disheartened" by the attack.

"I am relieved to hear that she is recovering well and still her usual feisty self, but the violence on our streets is unacceptable," she said in a statement.

"Councilwoman Spector is a dear friend and colleague, and as with all incidents of violence, it is devastating when innocent people become the target of criminal behavior," she said.

Police asked anyone with information to call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup.

Baltimore Sun reporters Justin George and Luke Broadwater contributed to this article.

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