NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey woman fought off a knife-wielding attacker who was trying to steal her purse. Police are on the hunt for the suspect.
Police said the 47-year-old victim was walking home from work down Bergenline Avenue when she felt someone following her. After she turned down 74th Street, the man attacked and tried to take her purse, but the woman held onto her bag and managed to fend him off, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Wednesday.
The incident happened at around 1 a.m. on Tuesday.
Police said the man kicked the woman in the stomach and then the head after she refused to give up her purse. She told police she held on because she had something sentimental in it, given to her by her son.
When she didn’t hand it over to the suspect, police said the suspect pulled out a knife and slashed her, cutting her wrist.
That’s when a husband and wife heard screaming, saw the struggle and ran over to help, scaring off the man, police said.
Surveillance video shows a man running down a North Bergen street. Police believe he’s the one who attacked the woman.
Duddridge spoke to one of the good Samaritans who didn’t want to be identified, fearing the attacker is still out there.
“He had a knife in his hand and he was demanding money, anything of valuables. He wanted anything. He just didn’t want to let her go,” the witness said.
The woman was treated in a local hospital, thankful witnesses helped her and called 911.
“I approach the guy, I guess he got scared and ran off,” the witness said.
The suspect is described as in his 20s with a ponytail and wearing dark clothes.
Police are also looking for a white Acura. They think the driver of that vehicle may helped the suspect get away.
Authorities are also issuing this warning: Do not risk your life over a purse or valuables.
“I would’ve given it up. I mean, I’m stubborn, but what do you have to lose,” said neighbor Maria Cabana.
“Definitely I feel for her because she was probably really scared, so she reacted. You know, fight and flight response probably kicked in,” said neighbor Gladys Arugeta.
Police say the woman and suspect didn’t know each other and the attack was random.
The woman’s coworkers told Duddridge she’s too frightened and lives nearby.