NBC 4 New York
Police are on the hunt for a man who pulled a knife and stabbed a complete stranger on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Marc Santia reports.
Police are searching for a homeless man who witnesses say stabbed a woman walking near East 86th Street and First Avenue on the Upper East Side Tuesday morning.
Authorities said the 24-year-old woman was running errands with a friend a few blocks from the salon where she works when she encountered a man armed with a kitchen knife wrapped in a plastic bag.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he tried to take her bag, and when she resisted, stabbed her.
He may also have sprayed her in the face with an unknown substance.
The friend who was with the victim ran into a nearby newsstand, screaming for help.
"She said, screaming, 'Help me, help me, my friend -- somebody stabbed her,'" said store owner Mo Desai, who ran out with paper towels and water.
"She was on the floor, stabbed in the stomach," Desai said. "She was crying."
Co-workers identified the woman as Sabatha Tirado and described her as "a very positive, upbeat person."
The suspect was last seen running west on 85th Street, and is described as about 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 11 inches, wearing about 180 pounds. He was wearing a maroon shirt and carrying a backpack.
Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Get our apps here and sign up for email newsletters here. Get breaking news delivered right to your phone -- just text NYBREAKING to 639710. For more info, text HELP. To end, text STOP. Message and data rates may apply.