Tran lives in a room with its own entrance that is part of a tidy brick house with a garden on Luzerne Street near L, owned by a Vietnamese pastor and his wife. The pastor's wife, Hong-An Dao, acted as an interpreter for reporters when Tran spoke briefly Tuesday before a doctor's appointment. She said that Tran suffers from "mental issues" — specifically, severe depression.
Police Capt. John Gallagher, of the East Detective Division, said that police were called to the house about 5:40 p.m. He said that a 10-year-old boy, who lives on L Street a half-block from the victim, was arrested Monday. The boy has not been identified because he is a juvenile.
The District Attorney's Office charged him Tuesday with aggravated assault, conspiracy, robbery and related offenses.
Gallagher said that the 10-year-old's mother approached officers at the scene and told them of his involvement in the crime and his suspected involvement in other area robberies.
The victim also identified the boy as one of her attackers, Gallagher said.
Detective Martin Sheeron, the assigned detective, said that cops have potential leads on the other two boys but have not positively identified them.
Dao, who saw Tran after the attack, said that she had been beaten by the boys with sticks (one boy used one to stab her in the stomach), the rope and a plunger. One boy threw a potted plant from the lawn into Tran's face, bloodying her nose. They yelled at her, " ‘Where's the money?' " said Dao. They opened all her drawers and stole her purse, which had $20. "Her face was swollen. She had bruises on her face and neck," Dao said.
Tran, ethnically Chinese and born and raised in Vietnam, came to Philly in 1992, Dao said. Here, she met her husband, who was from Cambodia. "She has a history of being abused brutally by her husband," Dao said, adding that that was how "her mental issues developed."
Her husband, who had cancer, returned to Cambodia, where he died about six years ago, Dao said. She said that the Department of Human Services took custody of Tran's children, a now-15-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy, who are still in foster care, because of her mental issues.
Tran, who isn't able to hold a job, has been living with Dao for four years, said Dao, adding: "When she live here, she feel like it's a safe place for her."
Contact Julie Shaw at 215-854-2592 or email@example.com.