A man walking in Manhattan's East Village was pushed to the ground and slashed in the face Saturday afternoon, leaving him partially paralyzed and requiring at least 100 stitches, according to the victim and NYPD.
The victim, Anthony Christopher Smith, had just gotten off the subway and was walking down East 6th Street around 4:30 p.m. to meet friends for dinner when someone came up behind him, knocked him to the ground and cursed at him, he told NBC 4 New York Monday.
It wasn’t until after he got up that Smith realized he was bleeding and had been slashed on the right side of his face, from his ear to his jawline.
By then, the suspect had run away.
"I'm realizing I'm gushing out blood and I'm trying not to panic," Smith said after leaving Bellevue Hospital Monday night. "I couldn't call 911 because there was so much blood everywhere. My hands were covered, my phone was covered."
Smith said passersby called for help.
He described the attack as unprovoked and said he didn't interact with anyone on the street prior to being pushed and slashed.
"I got a decent look; I've never seen the person before," he said. "He looked like he was of an Asian background — little guy — he looked like he had a blade in his hand."
Smith underwent eight hours of surgery at Bellevue and left Monday night with at least 100 stitches. He has partial paralysis on the right side of his face because several nerves were severed.
His mother told NBC 4 that thankfully "the staff here, the surgeons here were able to repair all that."
"Now it's just a matter of waiting and seeing if he'll get the feelings back in his face," said Rita Christopher.
Doctors told Smith he should make a full recovery and he'll be able to smile again in about six to nine months, after some physical therapy.
Smith said his concern is getting the attacker off the streets.
"I hope somebody gets him," he said. "He needs to be either in the psych ward or at Rikers, or somewhere, but you know, there's someone who's clearly deranged on the streets and I hope they get him.
The attack has unnerved neighbors.
"It's insane, right here, especially with lots of traffic and businesses watching," said neighbor Franko Arias, who walks the same stretch of East 6th Street every day.
It comes less than two weeks after a woman was randomly slashed in the face while walking to work in Chelsea. A 41-year-old man was arrested in the slashing and was linked to several similar attacks across the city in recent months.
Police Tuesday released video of the suspect, described as a man in his 20s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black jacket, black skull cap, black pants and brown boots.
Marc Santia contributed to this report.