Straphanger Who Was Slashed in Random Subway Attack: ‘It Was So Quick'

A woman who was slashed across the face in a Manhattan subway car said she had to get 20 stitches after the terrifying random encounter Monday morning. 

Carmen Rivera said she took the D train to work from Brooklyn rather than her regular bus route and was pulling into the Broadway-Lafayette Street station when a stranger who had been sitting across from her stumbled onto her.

"When we got to Broadway he pretended he was going to fall and he fell on top of me and at the same time he just grabbed my face and I didn't even know," the 71-year-old Rivera said. "It was so quick."

By the time the man got off the train, Rivera had a 4-inch gash on her face. Rivera said she didn't even notice at first; a construction worker told her she was bleeding.

That same construction worker ran after the suspect, but he couldn't track him down. 

Rivera was treated and released from an area hospital. She told NBC 4 New York earlier Tuesday she wanted her attacker off the streets.

"He's gonna try to hurt somebody," she said.

But she added that she won't be fazed by the attack. 

"But you know what if we are gonna be a coward we'll never get out of the house. We gotta be strong," she said.

Police said Tuesday that they had arrested 21-year-old Damon Knowles, of Brooklyn, in the case. He was charged with assault Tuesday night. 

The attack was the latest in a string of random slashings in the city in recent weeks. A man was left partially paralyzed in the face when a stranger attacked him on an East Village street, and a woman was slashed in the face while walking to work in Chelsea earlier this month. 

Police have made arrests in both of the earlier incidents. 

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