NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A search was on Thursday evening for a bold attacker tonight who followed a woman into her apartment building and then an elevator.
The woman was punched in her face, and left in a hallway with broken bones. Her father spoke exclusively with CBS2’s Marc Liverman.
“Her face is still swollen. One eye is still all but shut,” said Frank Spellman. “So it looked like she got beat up by a fighter.”
The woman spent two full days and nights at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, while the man responsible remained on the loose.
Rachel Spellman, 35, was beaten up so severely that she did not want to be seen on camera.
“The orbit of the left eye, her face is still swollen,” Frank Spellman said.
Around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Rachel Spellman was walking back to her apartment building on 31st Drive in Astoria, Queens.
Police said the suspect got on the elevator with her, got off at the fifth floor, put her in a chokehold right and then started to punch her in the face over and over again.
“The neighbors, thank God, heard her cry out and called the police and helped her,” Frank Spellman said.
Neighbors described what they saw and heard.
“I just heard a lot of screaming,” one neighbor said. “It’s really scary because I live by myself.”
“She did scream. My roommate heard it and he was just saying how he thought it was a domestic kind of situation you know husband and wife type of stuff but when the scream got really loud that’s when he came out,” said resident Faruque Amin. “When I saw there was blood on the wall and everything I didn’t know what to think.”
Amin’s roommate called 911, but it was too late.
But it was too late. The suspect had already gotten away.
In the end, he got away with Rachel Spellman’s credit cards, and left her terrified and bloody on the hallway floor.
Rachel Spellman is now facing a very long road to recovery.
“She’s going to need a surgery to stabilize the broken bone in the eye socket,” Frank Spellman said. “She’ll need dental work to have either implants or a bridge to replace the two front teeth.”
Frank Spellman said he is thankful it wasn’t worse.
“Thank God he didn’t have a knife,” he said. “Thank God he didn’t have a baseball bat.”
But he wants the assailant caught, and fast.
“He did not have to hurt her to get what he wanted if it was just a robbery,” Frank Spellman said. “I don’t want to kill him. I don’t want to maim him. I just want him where he won’t hurt anybody else.”
Fliers are now posted around the building with the hopes that someone recognizes the suspect and calls police.
Several neighbors on the floor said they were too scared to go on camera. They are now constantly looking over their shoulders every time they walk in and out of the building.