NEW YORK CITY — The knife-wielding madman who slashed a 17-year-old girl 11 times in a late-night ambush steps from her Woodhaven home on Monday may have also been responsible for another unprovoked Queens stabbing that critically injured a home care attendant in June, the police commissioner said Wednesday.
"We're seeing if there's a pattern here," NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday. "Again, it appears to be an unprovoked attack, a similar attack. A woman was stabbed."
The hoodie-wearing attacker, who was still on the loose Wednesday, pounced on 17-year-old Natasha Martinez just steps from her home at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, police said. Martinez, who was returning home after working a shift at McDonald's, was left with multiple stab wounds.
Just a month ago, Kerline Denizard, a 36-year-old home health aid, was stabbed in her neck and body and left, bleeding, on the sidewalk near 105th Avenue and 221st Street. The June 25 attack, which occurred at about 4:45 a.m., happened right outside Denizard's home.
The victim's uncle, Taylor Denizard, said the attacker, who was wearing a hood and had something covering his face, jumped out from the shrubs next to their home and grabbed his niece, stabbing her by their front walkway.
"It’s like he’s waiting for her," he said.
Both victims were rushed to local hospitals in critical condition. Martinez was in critical condition but expected to survive as of Tuesday. The uncle said Denizard has recovered.
Police did not have a suspect description in the June stabbing, but sources said Martinez got a "good look" at her attacker and didn't recognize him.
"We have no motive, no reason to think there was any contact between the victim and this individual prior to the assault," Kelly said of Martinez's attack.
Police released surveillance camera footage of the suspect in a hooded sweatshirt following the Martinez attack Tuesday.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).
With reporting by Colby Hamilton.