NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 16-year-old girl was walking to school when a man slashed her in the face and neck Wednesday morning, police said.
The incident took place at around 8:30 a.m. on 147th Street between 13th Avenue and the Cross Island Parkway Service Road, in the Whitestone section of Queens. The victim is an exchange student from China who has been in the U.S. for about 8 months, CBS2’s Brian Webb reported.
The scene of the attack was about a block away from the girl’s home.
According to police, the suspect said absolutely nothing to the victim as he attacked from behind, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported. They said they believe the suspect may have been following her.
“She’s at the hospital now, Long Island Jewish. She’s being treated for those wounds; it’s not life-threatening, but it came out of nowhere,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
Boyce said in the “very disturbing” incident, the girl was slashed twice in her face – once from her ear to her throat, and once in her throat and another part of her face.
The suspect is described as a man wearing a black hat, grey or blue sweatshirt, a surgical mask and surgical gloves, police said.
“We have a picture of the perp running away,” Boyce said. “It is non-probative. We cannot make an identification from it.”
Police tracked down surveillance video of the incident and released it to the public along with several surveillance images of the suspect.
Police said they found a box cutter left behind at the scene, Webb reported.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, Whitestone, Queens residents were uneasy after the attack that left the teen bloody and in shock.
“To have something like that happen here is just crazy,” said neighbor Aldo Golia.
The teen — a student at Whitestone Academy – was out of surgery late Wednesday and was expected to recover. But residents in the usually quiet neighborhood were upset by this random act of violence.
“I’ve got grandkids. We don’t let them out on the street; on the block. They don’t even go in the street unless we’re out there with them,” said Marty Amoscato. “That’s the world we live in.”
“Oh my God, I’ve been here 20 years, and both of my neighbors up the block, we’ve been here forever, we’ve never, ever heard of anything like this happening,” said resident Sandra Bragas.
Police said at first, it was difficult to communicate with the victim, but her friends and family helped translate. So far, no arrests have been made.