A woman who was at an MTA MetroCard machine at an Upper West Side subway station was stabbed in the back in a random attack by a stranger, who then took off, police said.
The suspect got on the northbound 1/2/3 train at 42nd Street just before noon Thursday while carrying a large knife, according to police. Others on the subway noticed the weapon and called police.
Officers stopped the train at 72nd Street to look for the man, who was said to be in a blue shirt and jeans. Police believe the suspect may have spotted officers and ran off the train. The NYPD later released a surveillance video of the suspect. He is seen wearing a blue shirt, bright yellow shorts and holding a knife in his right hand as he exits the subway station.
As he was making his escape, he allegedly stabbed the woman in the back, police said. The victim, Binny Marwaha-Bahl, said she was in line to buy a MetroCard at the time of the attack.
The 40-year-old said she was leaving the neighborhood after visiting a friend when she felt the incredibly sharp pain and let out a scream, but was totally unaware someone had come up behind her and plunged a knife in her back.
"I was buying a MetroCard but my card wasn't going through, so I was standing there for like 30-40 seconds," Marwaha-Bahl told NBC New York. "A man on the other turnstile said, 'Oh my God, he just stabbed you! You're bleeding.' I just felt a very sharp pain."
Marwaha-Bahl said she didn't know how to react in the moment, and she just stood there with her legs shaking. Thankfully a Good Samaritan was there to offer help, holding her to slow down the bleeding and comforting her.
"He didn't care if I had corona or anything, he did not care," said Marwaha-Bahl. "He got me, he held me, he said, 'You're going to be OK,' and I kept telling him to put pressure on my back because it was such a sharp pain."
Officials said it was not a deep wound, and doctors said that a backpack Marwaha-Bahl was wearing may have helped her. She was taken to Roosevelt Hospital for stitches before being released and is expected to recover, but now feels unsafe in the city she has called home for most her life.
"I don't think I'll ever get over it," Marwaha-Bahl said. "I'm not getting on the subway for a long time at least."