Bay View rallies for woman punched during walk

Posted at 10:34 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 22:47:14-05

The Bay View community is rallying together to protect their neighborhood. From car break-ins to a violent attack - they're "barking back."

"If anything I think that this has brought more people together and bonded and kind of really a strong sense of people looking out for one another," explained Kate O'Keefe.

Kate O'Keefe was randomly beat up in November when she was walking her dog Wolfgang.  She says her dog was always protective, but he's more on edge now.

"Working with a trainer kind of taught him that not all people are bad and scary."

O'Keefe's jaw was wired shut for six months, but it's mostly healed and her teeth are all intact.

"Someday I may still need a root canal, I may someday need a bridge, but this is, it's a long healing process, so it could take about a year to really know," said O'Keefe.

O'Keefe struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but she's not letting it control her life.

"I mean I'm walking on my own.  Granted it might not be as far as a walk, but we're getting there."

She says it was the community that got her to this point.

"I had heard that her jaw was broken and I didn't know Kate, but have a low level light machine that helps with wound healing and it helps to repair fractured bone," said Dr. Ann K Maedke, Maedke Chiropractic Center.

Dr. Ann K Maedke is one of several Bay View businesses who offered free services to Kate.

"When somebody's been injured emotionally like that I feel like people should just swoop them up and hold them," explained Dr. Maedke.

Neighbors wanted to host a fundraiser for O'Keefe's medical costs, but she suggested a fundraiser for local groups to help prevent incidents like her's from happening again and to help other victims. 

Area residents organized a week long event called "Bay View Barks Back."  You can purchase raffle tickets all week at several local businesses for your chance to win $6,500 in prizes. Proceeds will go to Ubran Underground and Project Ujima.  The big community event is Thursday from 5pm-9pm at Urban Bay View (2301 South Logan Avenue).  You don't have to be present to win prizes.

"We're a strong cohesive community and we will ban together and we're not going to be intimidated," said O'Keefe.

For more information about "Bay View Barks Back" visit their Facebook page.

Police say the attack is still under investigation. 

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