The saying "no good deed goes unpunished" rang very true for one New York City hotel worker, who was attacked in the building's lobby by a man with with a knife just moments after giving the suspect some water out of his own bottle.
The attack came Sunday morning, at the La Quinta in Long Island City. Police said that the stranger, who was not a hotel guest, walked inside asking for a bottle of water. Surveillance video shows the clerk immediately step away and give the man his own water bottle, then gestured that he did not have to pay.
"I said, 'Let me help you. I have a bottle of water back here with me that I can give you for free,'" the victim told NBC New York in an exclusive interview.
Instead of thanking him, that's when the man pulled out a combat knife and attacked the employee, he said, hitting him multiple times. The identity of the worker is not being shared, as the attacker is still on the loose.
"He wanted to kill me," the victim said. "He brought the knife up into my neck here. he wanted to put the knife in my neck."
The hotel employee said that he offered money and for the suspect to take whatever he wanted, "but he wouldn't hear me." On the ground, wrestling for his life, the clerk held onto the razor sharp blade of the knife as it's being pressed into his neck.
"I was holding this knife and When I was holding his knife I said, "What do you want? I don't understand, I'm trying to help you," the worker said. He was eventually able to get free and escape behind the secured desk — which the hotel management installed to protect workers against coronavirus. This time, it make have protect the employee from an even more brutal attack.
"We are here to help the community, that's what we do," said hotel manager Kaushik Patel, who believes the encased desk saved the victim's life. "I think he just made it, would've been a couple more minutes, he would have been dead."
While he was fortunate to escape with his life, the worker had his face, ears and hands sliced by the blade, cutting a nerve in his finger. He will soon need surgery and hopes to be able to write again — a heap of physical and emotional pain to get through, just because he wanted to help a stranger.
"For at least 15-20 seconds, I knew that I'm going to die today," the employee said. "This is alright, I got my life back."