A 78-year-old woman was left beaten and bruised after she was allegedly mugged while walking in her Courtenay neighbourhood.

The family tells CTV News the assault took place on Tuesday near Menzies Avenue and Third Street at about 5:10 p.m. when the 78-year-old was walking home.

"[I’m] concerned about safety in the Comox Valley," says the woman’s daughter, Denise Henley.

A Good Samaritan ran to help the woman and looked after her until an ambulance arrived at the scene. The woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was not taken to hospital.

The attacker took her purse, which was recovered with the help of bystanders.

"My mother has a black eye and is shaken up, as are those who know her," Henley says, adding her mother was punched repeatedly. "She has dementia and is vulnerable."

Police say several witnesses jumped in to intervene and a 32-year-old woman from Vancouver was arrested a short distance away.

"The woman who was arrested has been held in police custody pending an appearance in court," says RCMP Const. Monika Terragni. 

Katherine Eileen Devlin, 32, has been charged with assault and robbery.

The attack comes on the heels of a disturbing machete attack on an 89-year-old man in Courtenay.

Bob Plumb was inside his parked vehicle in the 400-block of Fifth Street at approximately 4:15 a.m. on July 31 when he was approached by a man on a bicycle who asked him for a cigarette.

The victim told the man that he did not have any cigarettes before the man allegedly assaulted him with what appeared to be a machete.

Raymond Corbett posted pictures of the victim recovering in hospital to Facebook and described the man as "the closest person I have to a grandfather."

"My heart is broken thinking someone could do such a thing to another human person," Corbett wrote.

The man’s granddaughter, Janelle Karatsikis, told CTV News Wednesday that he is still recovering and will require at least two more surgeries. 

As a family, they are still struggling with the attack and Plumb has been suffering night terrors. 

Police told CTV News on Wednesday that the two assaults are not believed to be connected.

"There is no evidence to suggest that this is connected to the assault earlier this month of an elderly man in the Comox Valley," said Terragni.

Henley said she is grateful for the support of the community and for the people who helped her mother during the incident. 

"The Good Samaritans who helped mom and led police to the suspect, the paramedics and police officer; were so kind and empathetic towards my mother," said Henley.

The family is concerned about future attacks and questions how safe the vulnerable seniors are in the community. They also told their mother not to wear a purse when walking and instead wear a waist pouch.