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Secretary of State Beaten in Home

November 11, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An ax-wielding intruder broke into the home of California Secretary of State March Fong Eu, robbed her, beat her and dragged her through the residence by her hair, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Eu, 64, suffered facial cuts and bruises during the attack Monday night. She was in satisfactory condition at Westside Hospital, but was deeply traumatized by the assault and will undergo plastic surgery, said her press secretary Caren Daniels-Meade.

She was expected to remain in the hospital for a few days.

Police said there was no reason to believe the attacker recognized his victim, or that the assault was politically motivated, Daniels-Meade said.

The attacker beat Eu with the ax handle and the blunt parts of its head, but not with the blade, as he dragged her by the hair through her home, demanding money, Daniels-Meade said.

She said Eu gave the robber ″a small sum,″ and the man fled.

Eu and her husband Henry, a millionaire from Singapore and Hong Kong, had entertained dinner guests earlier in the evening at their Hancock Park home west of downtown.

The enclave of large homes and mansions west of downtown also contains the official residence of Mayor Tom Bradley and such other notables as former heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali.

Eu had been reading in the home when the robber entered. Police said her husband was upstairs taking a bath when the incident occurred and she was too frightened to scream for help.

Lt. Ed Henderson of the Los Angeles Police Department said Eu went to her second-floor bedroom with the robber and gave him money. He fled through a back door, and Henry Eu later discovered his injured wife.

Eu’s description of the attacker matched that of a man suspected of several neighborhood robberies, said Daniels-Meade.

Eu, a Democrat, won her fourth term in last week’s election, defeating Republican nominee Bruce Nestande, an Orange County supervisor, by a margin of 69 percent to 26 percent.

Eu was born in the back of a Chinese laundry in a small town in Oakdale on March 29, 1922. Her parents were second-generation Chinese-Americans who spoke little English.

She earned degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Mills College and a Ph.D. in education from Stanford.

She worked as a dental hygienist and teacher before election to the Alameda County Board of Education in 1956. She served there 10 years before running for the Assembly, where she remained until elected secretary of state in 1974.

In 1970 she divorced her first husband, Oakland dentist Chester Fong, by whom she has two children, now grown. She married Henry Eu in 1976.

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