MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- The man stabbed with a screwdriver on a subway train in Manhattan Thursday night is speaking out as police continue to search for his attacker.
61-year-old Mohammed Ali Akbar Kader was attacked after hopping aboard a southbound 1 train at the Columbus Circle subway station at 59th Street around 9:40 p.m.
Kader was coming home from work. A man sat down next to him on the train and started wailing on him. The assault came from out of nowhere.
"They heard commotion inside the compartment and all of the sudden he got punched in the face," Shaick Akbar, one of the victim's relatives, told Eyewitness News.
Kader says after punching him repeatedly, the suspect started jabbing at his head with the screwdriver.
"Three, four times here. Here, here, here, here...." Kader said, pointing out his wounds.
Luckily, they weren't too deep, and with the help of other straphangers, Kader was able to exit the train on his own and call 911.
He sustained injuries to his mouth and the left side of his face.
While the physical injuries were not life-threatening, relatives say the emotional injury from the surprise attack may never heal.
"The damage so far is minor, as in physical. But internal, he's very afraid for the life," said Shaick Akbar.
"As I was talking to him, just got out of the masjid, he said he couldn't pray well," Akbar added. "He's afraid of what's going to happen next. He's paranoid."
This is the second time Kader has suffered a random attack. Last July he had a tooth knocked out when he was attacked on the street.
The suspect in Thursday night's assault was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt and a mask.
Police say he dropped the screwdriver and fled the train when the doors opened.
It is part of the investigation, along with video the MTA recovered showing the suspect leaving the 59th Street - Columbus Circle station from two angles.
The NYPD says overall crime is down on subways, but community advocates say more work needs to be done to make people feel safe.
"What is going on? Why has there been no action taken so far to really address this? We need a proactive approach to crime in the subway system," said Jack Nierenberg, vice president of Passengers United.
Detectives are speaking to passengers who were riding the subway at the time of the attack to try and piece together what happened.
The NYPD recovered the screwdriver allegedly used in the attack on the floor of the 1 train.