A burglar wielding an ax or a hatchet broke into the Hancock Park home of California Secretary of State March Fong Eu and struck her several times with the blunt end of his weapon while demanding money, officials said today.
Eu, 64, was listed in satisfactory condition this morning at Westside Hospital with facial and neck cuts and bruises. Police were searching for the man who entered her house at about 10 p.m. Monday and confronted the short, slightly built woman in her dining room.
The burglar struck Eu, then pulled her to the floor by her hair and dragged her through the house in search of money, said Chief Deputy Secretary of State Anthony L. Miller, who was with Eu at the hospital this morning.
Handed Over Money
Eu went to her second-floor bedroom with the attacker and handed over several hundred dollars, Los Angeles Police Lt. Ed Henderson said. The burglar then left.
Eu's husband, Henry, was taking a bath and did not hear the commotion, Miller and Henderson said. No one else was in the house.
Police could not immediately find any signs of forced entry and it was not clear how the man entered the house.
Eu's attacker was described as a black man, about 30 years old, dressed in dark clothing, weighing about 140 pounds and 5 feet, 8 inches tall.
Miller said the incident appeared to be a random attack. The assailant was "acting like a mad man, but there were no indications he was on drugs," Miller said.
'Will Fully Recover'
Eu's deputy said she was "physically and emotionally traumatized by the experience" but "will fully recover" from her injuries."
Eu's press secretary, Caren Daniels-Meade said later that doctors indicated that the secretary of state might have to undergo plastic surgery for her injuries.
Miller said Eu had "a sleepless night, reliving the attack" in her hospital room.
"She's a real scrapper and survivor," Miller said. "She feels very lucky to be alive."
Eu, a Democrat and the first Asian-American to hold statewide office, won easy reelection to a fourth term last week. She had 69% of the vote to 26% for her main challenger, Republican Bruce Nestande, an Orange County supervisor.