71-year-old Good Samaritan beaten outside her home on East Side

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A 71-year-old woman was beaten in front of her home, and left to die in a gutter. Fortunately, a long-time friend came to the woman's rescue. The woman's family says she is well-known on the city's East Side for her charity in the area over the last three decades.

Trina Mitchell is the daughter of Elizabeth Hernandez, better known as Betty. Mitchell says she grew up with a mom who devoted her life to helping others.

"Clothing, shelter, food -- even somewhat like social work," Mitchell said.

Mitchell says her mom runs a thrift shop and a sort of street ministry out of her home on Farwell -- selling what she can, but giving most of it away.

"It drove her seeing the successes -- the people that came out of drugs and alcohol," Mitchell said.

On Saturday, May 11th, Dale Skudlarczyk says he and Betty were getting home late from helping a family on the city's south side. Just after 2:00 a.m., police say she was outside her home when she was attacked. Skudlarczyk ran outside, but didn't see her at first.

Police say Betty was struck in the head with a metal object.

"Whatever she was hit with, she was hit pretty hard because she was knocked out.  She wasn't talking or anything. I mean, her eyes were rolled back and she's just shaking and barely breathing," Skudlarczyk said.

Betty made it to the hospital, but has been unresponsive since the attack. Police say they are aggressively investigating, but have yet to make any arrests.

Betty is the only one who saw her attacker. Skudlarczyk says he caught a glimpse as the attacker was running away.

"Sort of dark hair, slim, probably about six foot maybe. He was limping on his right leg," Skudlarczyk said.

A friend who has been visiting Betty in the hospital told FOX6 News on Thursday she is beginning to regain consciousness. They are hoping she will be able to remember what happened and possibly talk through the events soon.

Anyone with information that could help police is asked to give them a call.