NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One minute, a woman was walking down the street and talking on her cellphone in Prospect Park South, Brooklyn, and the next, she was bleeding from a random slashing.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the search was under way Thursday for a stranger who attacked the woman in the middle of the morning.READ MORE: Tri-State Area Police Departments Travel To Harlem In Tribute To Fallen NYPD Officer Jason Rivera
The attack came on top of the 753 stabbings and slashings so far in 2016 – an increase of more than 20 percent from last year.
Surveillance video showed the man who police believed slashed the woman. A good Samaritan, who asked not to be identified, said she took off her own shirt and gave it to the 53-year-old victim to try and stop the bleeding.
“She said she was walking down the street on the phone and a gentleman came up from behind her and cut her in the neck and ran off,” the woman told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes. “We kept pressure on her neck until they came and tried to keep her calm.”
Police said the attack happened just before 10 a.m. on Beverley Road off Rugby Road. The attacker approached the victim from behind, and slashed her neck without warning or saying a word, and then ran off – leaving behind a knife and what appeared to be an American flag bandana.
“She had no idea who he was,” the good Samaritan said. “She didn’t see him coming.”
The victim was rushed to Maimonides Medical Center, where her condition was listed as stable.
A home surveillance camera captured home video of the man, wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt and dark pants, and running on Argyle Road toward Cortelyou Road. It is the same route Mary Louise Clemens takes to walk her dog.
“It’s very scary. It’s very scary,” Clemens said. “I mean, my friend was just walking here five minutes before it happened.”
Detectives had the crime scene roped off all day as they combed every inch of sidewalk for evidence.READ MORE: NYPD: Wounded Officer Wilbert Mora Being Transferred To NYU Langone Medical Center, Still In Critical Condition
The apparent random act of violence left the residential neighborhood very uneasy.
“It’s a tragedy for whoever’s involved and it’s frightening for the rest of us,” neighbor John Weiss said. “This is a neighborhood where you don’t hear things like this.”
The suspect is described as a 6-foot-tall black man, wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and dark sweat pants.
In a separate case, a Manhattan man was charged Thursday in connection with three recent stabbings.
Around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said a 30-year-old jogger was slashed in his hand while fighting off a suspect who was trying to rob him on the path near the East Drive in Prospect Park.
Minutes later at Parkside and Ocean avenues, police said the same suspect stabbed a 43-year-old man in the stomach and took the victim’s wallet.
The suspect was immediately taken into custody, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported. Keny Rochelin, 26, of Manhattan was charged with robbery, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
Both victims were being treated at Kings County Hospital Center on Thursday.
Rochelin was also been charged with the stabbing of Yehuda Leib Brikman in Crown Heights last month, police said.MORE NEWS: Police: 62-Year-Old Pushed Onto Subway Tracks In Lower Manhattan
The NYPD investigated the Feb. 10 stabbing of Brikman, a Hasidic Jew, as a hate crime.