NEW BEDFORD — A 28-year-old man will serve four to seven years in state prison after he violently assaulted and robbed an elderly city woman.

The Bristol County District Attorney's Office said Ejay Pierce pleaded guilty on Friday in superior court to charges of unarmed robbery and assault and battery causing serious bodily injury.

On Dec. 21, 2020, Pierce saw a teller at the Purchase Street New Bedford Credit Union count out $1,000 in cash for a withdrawal for the victim, a 72-year-old New Bedford woman.

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He abruptly left the bank and was later seen on surveillance video pulling his vehicle to the side of Purchase Street to let the victim pass him, according to the D.A.'s office.

Pierce then followed the woman to her New Bedford home, where he violently attacked her and stole her purse just outside her front door.

The victim suffered a dislocated shoulder, a torn rotator cuff, fractured collar bone and damage to her teeth in the attack, the D.A.'s office stated.

Due to her injuries she underwent multiple surgeries, had to resign from her part time job at a local school, and now regularly goes to physical therapy.

Upon his release, Pierce will spend another five years on supervised probation, and will be required to pay full restitution to the victim for the money stolen and mental health treatment.

"This is an outrageous act of violence against an elderly woman who was just doing her banking," Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn commented, noting that the violent attack caused her "serious injury and emotional trauma."

"This predatory act has significantly impacted the victim for the rest of her life," he added. "The defendant clearly needs to be kept off the street to protect society."

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