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Deaf woman robbed at gunpoint

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Updated: 11/05/2013 8:58 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A deaf woman living on the Westside is taking justice into her own hands.

She sketched a picture of a man she says took what little hearing she has left.

The suspect's face is burned into Elizabeth Melaugh's memory. She is a 20-year-old art student who began losing her hearing to a tumor when she was 13.

"I'm now 95 percent deaf in my right ear, and 65 percent on my left ear."

Multiple expensive surgeries left her unable to afford more than one, outdated hearing aid, until a miracle earlier this year. Melaugh won a much needed $5,000 replacement pair at a raffle hosted by a local hearing group.

Months later she was able to enroll in her first semester of college and get a job.

"My life was amazing. Everything was clear and I didn't have to strain to hear my teachers."

But just after 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, Melaugh was robbed.

"I had just started my first day on the job, and I took the bus home. I'd never walked down Renault Drive before. I could see three guys in a car pull up beside me. They're yelling at me from the car and I don't hear them because I don't have my hearing aids in. I had headphones with music that I like to try and listen to."

One man jumped out and rushed toward her, and Melaugh said she froze.

"He just pointed the gun in my face, grabbed my purse off my shoulder, ran back in the car and then they backed off so I couldn't see the license plate. The most vivid image in my mind is me staring down the barrel of that gun."

The suspects got away with $3 cash, and Melaugh's student ID which was later recovered at a nearby bank, but her heart sank when she remembered her new hearing aids were also in her purse.

"They were programmed just for me and now I'm virtually unable to hear anything. I have to use my old hearing aid to get by now. It's so hard, especially at school."

Melaugh sketched a picture of the man just hours after the incident occurred, and has since distributed fliers to stores across the Westside hoping someone will recognize him, or find the little black box holding two pink hearing aids that she can't afford to replace.

"My hearing aids are very expensive, but they are of no value to anyone else. They're priceless to me and I need to get those returned."

Under warranty, a new pair will cost Melaugh more than $500. She's hoping to avoid that cost and the three months it would take to program them specifically to her needs. By the time she has them, her first semester of school will be over.

If you know anything about this crime, call JSO at 630-0500.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

king kaos - 11/5/2013 4:47 PM
0 Votes
rgold - why is that BTW??? What is missing in the "country" that there is an abundance of in the city? What makes the nature of the crimes in the country different(less violent for the most part and if it is violent it is targeted at a relative or spouse rather than at some random person)??? Why can you look at a school and based on the population of different kids tell what the school grade overall is without even seeing it? If you dont think its that way, look at the statistics. You can say what you want about me and people like me, and it would be based on non factual arguements(you think im like this, you feel this way towards me) so it would not matter. However I will come back at you with facts(this is what the numbers say, according to this study) so you tell me is the problem THE WAY you THINK I am, or THE WAY THE PROBLEM\THUG POPULATION REALLY IS? Just sayin. Also if there is a way to get this girl some money to go towards her replacement hearing aids, Id love to know... anyone have an idea?

Gunny48 - 11/5/2013 4:05 PM
0 Votes
Crime Stoppers could offer a "no questions asked" reward?

rgold02 - 11/5/2013 11:32 AM
1 Vote
The least the thieves could do is to return the hearing aids! A city of crime, we have become. I might need to move out to the country and never return to the city. Yes, there is crime in the country, but not as bad.

nativejax - 11/5/2013 8:35 AM
2 Votes
Well gee, this narrows it down to a couple THOUSAND thugs here in Jax alone.
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