NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An exchange student from China who was slashed in the face by an unknown assailant in Whitestone, Queens last month says she will not let the attack scare her out of the country.
As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported, 16-year-old JiaJia Liang said through an interpreter on Thursday that she’s wearing a mask in public out of fear, not shame.
The teenager needed more than 200 stitches to close slashes on her face and neck that were sustained in a broad daylight attack near 147th Street and 13th Avenue on Dec. 16.
Video of the attack shows the suspect running up behind the girl, who was walking alone to school. The suspect turned her around and then slashed her across her face and throat with a box cutter, police said.
The suspect, who police said appears to have been wearing a hooded sweatshirt, a surgical mask and surgical gloves, ran away.
Liang said despite the grisly attack, she won’t be returning to China.
“The cuts and wounds are healing and I still want to stay here,” she said.
Liang and her mother said they wore masks while speaking with reporters because of the letter she received on a friend’s vandalized car that indicated that she was not the intended target, Jones reported.
The writer of the letter apologized, and promised that the correct teen would soon have her “beautiful face” carved up.
Police said the intended target was another 16-year-old who lived in the same house as the victim. The letter was allegedly written on behalf of the second teen’s jealous boyfriend, who is now in jail.
“Whether it was targeted or random, they still feel very frightened by the whole incident,” Assemblyman Ron Kim said.
Kim said no arrests have been made.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the teen with her medical expenses.