NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police apprehended the man they suspect stabbed a 25-year-old woman on the Upper East Side.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Story

Curtis Forteau, 29, was charged Wednesday with attempted murder, attempted assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon, assault and criminal possession of a weapon after allegedly stabbing the victim, Sabatha Tirado.

Forteau shouted his innocence as he was led away by authorities, saying “I never, ever stabbed anyone. I never attacked anyone first.”

Tirado, was walking on East 86th Street near Second Avenue around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday when a man suddenly grabbed her bag, threw an unknown liquid in her face and then stabbed her in the stomach when she resisted, police said.

Tirado works at a nearby waxing salon. Her boss called her a hard-working and nice girl who was simply running an errand in the morning.

Forteau was arrested after a pair of sharp-eyed cops spotted him heading for a men’s shelter on Wards Island, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.  They recognized him from descriptions and surveillance video that caught him running from the scene of the stabbing attack.

Detectives found the suspect resting on a cot at the shelter.

Surveillance cameras captured the suspect taking off from the stabbing scene, holding a white bag believed to contain the weapon, a kitchen knife, CBS 2’s Hennessey reported. Police sources said Forteau dumped the bag into the gutter and a short time later it was swept away by a passing street sweeper.

With assistance from the Department of Sanitation, detectives traced the street sweeper’s route and found, in the debris, the white bag and weapon.

Sources told CBS 2 because Tirado didn’t get a good look at the suspect, she couldn’t pick him out of a photo array. So Forteau was put in a police line-up and was identified by witnesses, who said they saw him running from the scene.

Forteau has a history of robbery, drug and assault convictions and was out on probation when he allegedly tried to rob Tirado on Tuesday.

Tirado was rushed to the hospital where she underwent emergency surgery. She  is now recovering at Cornell Hospital with her mother by her side.

“She’s in stable condition. She’s doing well physically. She’s traumatized over this situation and she’s doing as well as can be expected,” Tirado’s mother Alicia Arroyo told CBS 2’s Hennessey.

Arroyo said her daughter remembers everything about the attack and the brutality of it all.

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