NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The woman who was randomly attacked by a fellow straphanger on the 6 train earlier this week spoke out Thursday about her terrifying ordeal.
Heather Burke was taking the subway to work when she was violently slashed as the train pulled into the 59th Street and Lexington Avenue station on Tuesday.
“I’m just grateful that I’m alive,” Burke told CBS 2’s Don Champion.
Burke was bandaged and recovering at home, but said she’s haunted by the memory of her train ride to work.
“I was obviously totally blindsided,” she said.
She said she remembers checking emails on her phone just like any other day just before the attack happened around 10 a.m.
“I stood up, took one step towards the door and the next thing I know, someone was on top of me attacking me,” Burke said.
The accused attacker is a woman who was sitting near Burke on the uptown train.
“Nobody was suspicious of her. Nobody felt like she was any kind of threat to anyone. People were sitting next to her. She looked just like every other person on the subway,” said Burke.
CBS 2’s cameras were there as the alleged attacker, 31-year-old Ashley Jacob, was restrained by officers.
Investigators said she snapped and went on a violent rampage, stabbing Burke several times and punching another woman who tried to intervene.
“The knife penetrated my abdominal wall, so it was very deep. I had about four hours of surgery,” Burke told Champion.
Burke also suffered cuts on her arm and shoulder.
Burke said while the physical wounds will heal, the emotional wounds may take longer to get over. She just moved to New York from St. Louis six months ago.
“It’s terrifying. What’s going to say I’m not walking down the street and someone does the same thing,” said Burke. “I hope that time will heal and I’ll eventually be able to put this behind me.”
Jacob, the alleged attacker, was undergoing a psychiatric observation at Bellevue Hospital.
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