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Arizona’s Family speaks to victim of violent attack at Phoenix Cricket Wireless store

A woman is recovering after being attacked while working at a Cricket Wireless store in Arizona. (Source: Arizona's Family)
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 4:43 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A woman attacked while working at a Cricket Wireless store on Saturday is recovering from her injuries at home. She spoke to Arizona’s Family about the terrifying ordeal.

“I have stitches from my eyebrow to my nose. I have like two fractured nose bones and just mentally, and all the bruises on my face,” said 22-year-old Maria Coronado. “I relive it everyday. I see his face everyday. I get these flashbacks of me getting hit and I can still smell the carpet, like the carpet where I was at, like I still smell that. I just relive it everyday.”

Coronado was working at the cell phone store near 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home when Phoenix police say 33-year-old Michael Cook attacked her and stole cell phones and cash from the store. Surveillance video shows Coronado asking Cook how she could help him, and then he throws the first punch, immediately knocking her to the ground.

“I just didn’t want to like hit him or do anything like that because if I hit him and he gets a hold of me again, he’s not going to stop this time and this time he will probably kill me or knock me out,” Coronado said. “It was terrible. At first when he was punching me, I thought he was like--I was being stabbed or something because it was so much force but I didn’t know he had grabbed my phone at some point and was hitting me with my iPhone so I was like why is this hurting me so much.”

At one point in the video, Cook starts stomping on Coronado’s head. She said she was focusing on covering her face and not passing out. “It felt like forever. I was screaming, I was pleading with him, I was telling him to stop--nothing would work, nothing. He was just so angry, so angry,” Coronado said.

Coronado said she noticed Cook outside of the store throughout the day. “That day he was coming just periodically, just opening the door to see if I was alone, if somebody was there or just to catch me alone at the right time,” she said. “I thought it was weird but I just saw him like too often I didn’t think he would do something like that.”

Coronado said she recognized Cook, a customer in the past but knew him as a homeless person in the area. She said she’s even met his mother when she came to the store with him. Phoenix police say it was Cook’s mother who identified him in the surveillance video when it was released to the public.

“I had met his mom before and she was really sweet to me so in my heart I was like, I really thought it was her even though I didn’t know who turned him in,” Coronado said.

Police say Cook admitted to trading the cell phones he stole for drugs. His mother told police he is homeless and schizophrenic and not currently on medication. A judge issued Cook a $100,000 cash bond. Coronado said she’s grateful he’s now behind bars.

“I just didn’t want this to happen to somebody else because it’s a lot to go through mentally, physically, nobody deserves that at all,” said Coronado.

Coronado said she’s worked with Cricket Wireless for four years, and this is the fourth time she’s been a victim of a robbery. Cricket Wireless did not respond to our request for comment. If you would like to help Coronado with any medical expenses, click here.