Berkeley police on the scene (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso

Friends and coworkers of a woman who received serious injuries in a violent robbery in Berkeley on Friday night have created a fundraiser to help with her recovery.

The woman will need surgery to repair injuries to her face, along with other medical care, according to Josh Levine, who posted the fundraiser Saturday. (Note: The link contains a graphic photograph that is disturbing.)

According to police, the woman was walking in Berkeley between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday in the 1700 block of San Pablo Avenue, near Delaware Street, when a man punched her in the face. The woman fought back, said Berkeley Police spokesman Officer Byron White, but the man choked her until she passed out.

When she regained consciousness, White said, the woman saw her backpack, which contained her laptop, was gone. The 28-year-old Oakland woman was taken to the hospital for treatment for a large cut to her face, White said. There wasn’t much detail about the man who hurt her. Witnesses described a black man who was 20-25 and about 5 foot 9 wearing dark clothing.

According to the GoFundMe fundraiser page, the man had asked for a cigarette before the attack.

The woman, identified as MaryAnne, “is in a great deal of pain, she needs our support. This gofundme will be to cover her medical expenses and other costs regarding her recovery. We anticipate that she will need to pay for an ambulance ride, medical, and additional surgery to address facial re-construction and put her back together.”

Levine, who works with the woman at Donut Farm, described the woman as “a Hawaiian girl in California and a kind, happy easygoing spirit!”

During a recent visit, he said, she was “in good spirits! We had to be careful, no laughing. Stitches and laughing don’t go well together! Lots of soup and she was excited I brought her cold brew coffee. Maryanne loves that stuff. Long road of recovery ahead but she’s got a great attitude.”

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...