NEW YORK — The search is on for a man who assaulted and stabbed a 19-year-old woman as she walked into a subway station on the Lower East Side on Friday.
She spoke exclusively to CBS2’s Ali Bauman about the random attack.
The 19-year-old victim was heading down into the subway with a girlfriend when she noticed a man following them. He walked away, and she thought they were safe until the man grabbed her from behind.
“I was, like, really stuck. I didn’t really have anywhere to move,” she said.
She has scars across her neck and a stab wound in her back. She did not want to be identified because her attacker has not been caught.
It happened early Friday morning at the Delancey Street subway station.
“I’m walking down the stairs. My friend is a little bit ahead of me, and he just immediately puts me in a chokehold, like, from behind. I had no clue what was going on. I thought, like, was my friend was pranking me? So I was calling, like, ‘Who is this? Who’s holding me?’ And then he wasn’t loosening his grip,” the victim said.
She says the man pulled out a small knife and was digging it into her throat.
“My friend turns around, notices I’m not with her, and turns around and just screams like, ‘Oh my god,’ and he lets go and just punctures my back and then runs off,” she said.
She called 911 but says it took police about 40 minutes to arrive. She fears since he got away, he could strike again.
“He went for me, and I was with somebody, so I feel scared for people who are just alone,” the victim said.
The latest NYPD data shows crime in transit is up 53.6% so far this year compared to last.
Just a few hours after this attack, police say. Police are also looking for a man who they say beat up a 27-year-old man on an MTA bus in Brooklyn last weekend.
“The police need to be focused on imminent threats of violence,” said Danny Pearlstein, of the Riders Alliance.
He says police in the transit system help, but that isn’t the only solution to a safer commute.
“The subway doesn’t run frequently enough. People are left waiting for long periods of time on platforms. The governor needs to run more trains,” he said.
The victim told CBS2 she does not know the suspect’s motive and that he didn’t try to steal anything from her.
Authorities are asking anyone with information in any of these incidents to call police.