A woman was beaten close to death at this recreation centre.

Hockey mom not expected to survive after vicious beating in Newton

53-year-old woman attacked Sunday night outside Newton Arena in Surrey.

A 53-year-old hockey mom is not expected to survive after being viciously beaten for her purse.

On Sunday, just after 9:30 p.m., the woman was picking up her 14-year-old son after a hockey game at the ice rink at Newton Arena, located at 7120 136B St.

In the parking lot, the woman was confronted by someone who demanded her purse. The attacker then proceeded to viciously beat the woman.

She is in hospital, and isn’t expected to survive.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has taken over the case.

“IHIT is in the early stages of this investigation and this attack appears to be an unprovoked, random attack with a possible motive being robbery,” said Sgt. Adam MacIntosh of IHIT.

“IHIT is currently working with the Surrey RCMP to identify who is responsible.”

The attack has similarities to an assault on a female in the same area on Dec. 16, 2013, IHIT says.

“Surrey RCMP continue to investigate this previous incident and although the motive appears similar these two occurrences have not definitively been linked.”

The area of Newton around the arena has been the source of complaints from residents for some time.

Jude Hannah, member of a Newton revitalization group called ReNewton, is horrified at the escalating violence in her neighbourhood.

“This is what we told the city was going to happen,” an emotional Hannah said Monday. “I’m angry. I’m upset.”

She said Newton began to take a turn for the worse about 12 years ago. Then, about five years ago, she was afraid to have her son out after dark when violence in the area escalated.

She said a warning went out to Surrey council some time ago.

“We have told them it’s bad,” Hannah said. “I’ve seen so many changes, and I am just sick about this poor, innocent woman.”

The city has been grappling with the issue of crime in the area for some time.

The city has encouraged development, even allowing a casino nearby on the promise of a $25-million investment in a mall near 72 Avenue and King George Boulevard.

That promise was broken on the sale of the property. Sources say the new owners plan a much scaled-down version of promised upgrades.

Coun. Barbara Steele said Monday that Newton is not an easy fix.

“We’ve had issues there for sure,” Steele said. “Obviously we have to do something, and I wish we had the answer.”

She said Sunday’s incident was a horrific attack on the woman.

“There are no words to describe this, the kind of atrocity,” Steele said Monday. “There’s somebody out there that’s either incredibly sick, or whatever the scenario. It’s got to be dealt with, the person has to be found, and we have to deal with this issue and what could lead to be an incredible cycle we don’t want to see.”

IHIT is asking anyone with information or who was in the area of the Newton Arena, Newton bus loop and the Newton Wave pool, between 7 and11 p.m., on Dec. 29 and may have seen any suspicious activities, persons, or vehicles to call the IHIT Tipline at 1-877-551-4448 or email ihittipline@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. If you wish to remain anonymous you can call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip on their website at Solvecrime.ca

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