Teen Girl Critically Injured in Apparently Random Woodhaven Stabbing: Cops
NEW YORK CITY — A Woodhaven teen was in critical condition after she was stabbed several times in what sources believe was a random ambush just steps from her home late Monday.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that investigators were still looking for the attacker.
"We don't have a motive," he said.
Natasha Martinez, 17, had finished her shift at McDonald's about 11:30 p.m. and was close to her home on 85th Street when a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt came up behind her and stabbed her "out of the blue," sources said.
Her mother, Wendy Martinez, was inside at the time and ran out when she heard her daughter's screams, according to the Daily News.
She clutched her daughter in her arms, using a towel to stanch the flow of blood, while EMS raced to the scene, the newspaper reported.
"Her body was full of holes," Wendy Martinez told the newspaper. "Her face was turning white, and I slapped her. I was telling her, 'You have to stay alive.'"
Police found a bloody 6-inch kitchen knife in the lobby of her building, sources said.
The victim was rushed to Jamaica Hospital where she was listed in critical condition but expected to survive. Detectives weren't able to fully interview her about the attack, due to her injuries.
However, the girl did say that she got a "good look" at her attacker, but did not recognize him, sources said.
Investigators released surveillance footage Tuesday showing a man they believe is the suspect slowly walking down the street in a brightly colored hooded sweatshirt.
Neighbor Edwin Martinez said he heard a scream about the time of the stabbing, but didn't think anything of it "because people argue in the street all the time." He said he was shocked that such a crime could occur in what he called a "very quiet, very nice neighborhood."
“The community is outraged and we want justice," he said. "We want someone to get penalized for this. We want someone to get arrested for this."
Another neighbor, 52-year-old Gloria Froelich, described the victim as a "very quiet person." She said the stabbing was the latest sign that the neighborhood has taken a turn for the worse, "to the point you’re not safe to go to the store anymore.”
“You’ve got to watch your back," Froelich said.