PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A female store owner, robbed twice in two weeks, says she feels victimized yet again.
In late June, Yuzhen Ma was caught on surveillance video trying to wrestle a gun out of the hand of a man she says tried to rob her. She maintains she fought back to protect her son who was also in the store.
Ultimately, she won that battle but as it turns out, headaches from that struggle is the least of her concerns.
She has since received a bill for $1,021 from the fire department for paramedic services. Aria Health wants a little over $5,500 for her ER visit and her X-rays cost her $362.
Ma says her Wissinoming business barely makes enough to pay for her rent and utilities. Thus she has is unable to afford insurance.
So 3-On-Your-Side turned to Capt. Charles Bloom with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Victims Services Unit for help.
Ma did qualify and was notified to seek compensation through the Victims Assistance Program. With help from a translator, her application is in the works.
Capt. Charles Bloom explained, “It’s for the people who don’t have insurance, who don’t have a dental plan. Not only the victim per se, it’s also the witnesses to the crime are entitled in some case, the family members.”
The program is federally funded. It’s financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted criminals. It’s designed to pay for medical bills, some lost wages and benefits for victims of certain crimes.
Capt. Bloom added, “Some of the crimes that fall under that are domestic violence-related incidents, sexual assaults, regular assaults and so forth.”
Authorities say in Philadelphia, there are victims assistance officers in every police district. You must remember to first file a police report and if you are not notified to apply for assistance, you can call the police to see if you are eligible.
Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3