A 31-year-old vagrant is in San Diego County Jail in Vista after a witness picked him out of a line-up.
Isaac Pettigrew is charged with last Tuesday's unprovoked attack on an Oceanside woman who was walking her dog under the pier near her home.
She was knocked out by her assailant.
Her son, Cody Rush, has been visiting her in the intensive care unit at Scripps La Jolla.
"She's doing better; slowly improving. She's a long way from a full recovery, but has definitely shown improvement the last three or four days."
He told 10News she still suffers from dizziness, but he's hoping to take her home in a day or two.
Fortunately she has no memory of the assault.
"She doesn't remember the attack. She does have... a lot of memories have come back, which is really encouraging, but no, the attack is still a mystery to her."
Pettigrew is a transient with a long criminal history; recently serving time in Oregon. His record includes arrests for harassment, assault, attempted arson, and criminal mischief.
He was just released from local jail after an assault on a woman here in June.
Cody voiced his gratitude that Pettigrew is behind bars; thanking neighbors who got involved. He then showed us pictures he shared with his mom.
Her little dog, Edie, scooted home after the beating and that alerted neighbors that something terrible had happened.
"So there's the dog that saved the day; lounging on the couch after this whole ordeal. Those are her two dogs, just playing outside."
Pettigrew is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday. His bail was set at $100,000.