NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 23-year-old woman was slashed late Wednesday in what police are calling a random attack on the subway.
The incident happened shortly before 10 p.m. on Wednesday on board a 6 train pulling into the Brook Avenue station in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx.
Speaking not long after being released from Lincoln Hospital, the victim confirmed to CBS2’s Dave Carlin that the man seen running on surveillance video was the man who put her through the horrifying ordeal.
“I am feeling good and my head in pain. [I put] my hand [over] my face for safety and then he attack my hand,” Rabia Begum said. “No more subway. No more.”
A native of Bangladesh who only moved to New York a year ago, Begum said the attack was unprovoked and started with the suspect staring at her and making her feel uncomfortable. She said she tried to defuse the situation by switching cars, but he followed her. Then, as the train approached 138th Street, the suspect pulled out a sharp object and slashed her forehead and right arm, police said.
No words were exchanged prior to the attack.
Witnesses described what happened next.
“He was just on top of this girl, kicking and stomping her, and then started stabbing her, once in the head and once she put her hand up he cut her across the hands,” commuter Nicholas Altobelli told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis. “Her laceration on her hand was very deep. I gave her first aid, did the best I could until the police came.”
Other witnesses jumped in to help Begum until an ambulance arrived.
“She was in shock and crying. She was hysterical because of what’s happened to her,” one man said. “No one should have to go through that or endure that at all. That’s someone’s daughter, someone’s mother, someone’s child. And for that to happen, I really hope that they catch the guy for doing that to her.”
“No reason for doing it. Girl was a very nice, young girl, and he just took off running out the train before anybody knew what could happen,” Altobelli added.
🚨WANTED for a SLASHING/STABBING of a 19 y/o female on board a @NYPDTransit N/B ‘6’ Train🚊at Brook Avenue in the Bronx @NYPD40Pct. Have you seen him or know who he is? 📲1-800-577-TIPS or 💻https://t.co/MoYB90aDa9. It’s anonymous and you may receive a REWARD! pic.twitter.com/wK0mzDn69m
— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) February 13, 2020
Commuters told DeAngelis they were bothered but not surprised by the attack, pointing out other “Wanted” posters inside the subway station for different alleged crimes.
“Just another day out here,” said Marcello Bucciero of Mott Haven.
“It’s notoriously known as somewhere that can potentially be dangerous so, you know, just knowing community members look out for each other,” resident Giovanni Owens added.
“Usually people don’t help. They just pull out their phones, first thing they do,” said Crystal Baveghems of Brooklyn. “Happy to hear at least someone stepped in to help the woman in need.”
The NYPD said recently that crime across the transit system is up. There have been 354 total crimes so far in January and early February, compared to 263 during the same period last year, a 35% increase.
Meanwhile, the search is continuing for the 6 train attacker. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting 274637.