A 69-year-old woman who reported being raped by a teenager at the Miller South Shore Line station this summer is dead after a hit and run accident in Gary, Ind., over the weekend.
Patricia Watson was a fixture in the neighborhood where she was known affectionately as the "gangsta granny," according to friends and acquaintances.
She was struck as she tried to cross Broadway just before 6 p.m., authorities said.
Gary police have a vague description of the car, but Cpl. Gabrielle King said the department is hoping the driver will come forward.
"We know it was a gray Buick, but that's about all we know," she said.
King said the driver did have a green light. One witness was able to describe the car to police, but coudn't provide a license plate.
Watson was a victim of sexual assault at gunpoint in August. Aarion Teri Lee Mosely, 16, was arrested and charged with multiple felonies after police uncovered a BB gun, bicycle and clothing allegedly worn at the time of the assault.
Police said the two crimes do not appear to be related. The Lake County prosecutors office said it is reviewing the case before it determines how it will proceed.
Also in question: the lawsuit brought by Watson against the Northern Indiana Communter Transportation District. Attorney Paul Rossi said it will be up to Watson's family to decide if they want to continue.
Patricia Watson was a mother of three who lived most of her life in the South suburbs. Her family says that in recent years she struggled with mental illness and chose to live on the streets.
Watson was leaving the Hunter Inn tavern just before she was struck. The bartender remembers her as a regular who would "give you the shirt off her back."
"She brought me a Thanksgiving turkey just so she could have a meal," said Rich, who did not want to give his last name.
Watson was well-known in her Gary neighborhood.
Latavia Partee said she was always nice when she came into her used appliance store.
"It’s sad," she said. "An older woman, who never hurt anybody, to lose her life like that…it’s sad."
Michael Wilson, who gave Watson her colorful nickname, said she was always friendly. When asked about her being a hit and run victim so soon after being a rape victim, he shook his head and said, "whoever did that, God doesn’t like ugly…that’s not cool."