JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens - The victim of a violent robbery in Queens is speaking out about the harrowing ordeal, describing her desperate struggle for survival.
The sudden knifepoint attack was caught on surveillance video, which was released by police hopeful of identifying the suspect.
Video shows violent robbery attempt in Queens
"I thought he wanted to maybe rape me, attack me," victim Mayra Montoya said. "That's what I thought the first second."
Montoya said as she was trapped in her building's vestibule with her assailant, all she could think of was to get to a place where someone could hear her cry for help.
She put up a valiant fight and tugged the suspect out the door.
"I thought, yeah, if I go outside, I'll run," she said. "I will run, I will scream and I will run."
Montoya believes the suspect saw her cash a check two blocks away from her home and then followed her to her building in Jackson Heights. She said it was around 8 p.m. Monday when she arrived home on 35th Avenue.
"I opened the door, and it's in that moment I felt someone behind me," she said. "So I just turned around, and he said 'hello.'"
Against her better judgement, she let him into the building's vestibule, and that's when he grabbed her from behind.
"He had all these black teeth," she said. "The teeth were black. So that surprised me a lot. And the look in his eyes, like lost."
The suspect is described as being in his 50s, about 5-foot-8 and 200 pounds, last seen wearing a black and white knit cap, black jeans and carrying a black backpack.
Montoya said she didn't even realize during the attack that he had a weapon, and she ended up with cuts on her palm and fingertips.
"I was so tense that I really grabbed the knife," Montoya said.
Once outside, someone walked by as she was screaming for help. The suspect fled, leaving her with her purse and holding his knife.
"I think that I was lucky, to be honest," she said. "I know that it could have been worse."
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
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