Updated Friday, July 25, 9:30 p.m.
A Woodhaven woman was at an Elmhurst subway station when a man grabbed her from behind, put her in a headlock and cut her throat open before running away with her purse, police said.
“I never imagined anything this brutal would happen to me in my life,” said Hazel Puentespina, 32. “I was terrified for my life and I thought I was going to die right there.”
The attacker approached Puentespina from behind on the platform of the Woodhaven Boulevard E/M/R train station at 11:25 p.m. on July 12, according to police.
He then forced her down to the ground and used a blade taped to a screwdriver to cut the lower right side of Puentespina’s neck, missing her main artery by a few inches, cops said.
“It all happened so fast. I knew I was being robbed but then I felt my throat stinging,” Puentespina said. ” That’s when I knew something else was happening.”
The assailant then ran off with her bag, which contained less than $50.
Only one straphanger was willing to get involved, a man on the platform who kicked the attacker down, Puentespina said.
“Everyone just stood around and watched me while my own blood soaked me,” she said.
The attacker was able to get away but he left the weapon and purse behind, according to police.
Puentespina was taken to the Elmhurst Hospital where she was given 15 stitches. She was released from the hospital the next day, according to a spokeswoman for the hospital.
“The doctor said I was lucky to be alive,” Puentaspina said, explaining that if the assailant had cut a little further up, her main artery would’ve been hit.
The police described the attacker as 5 foot 10 inches with short, black hair. No one has been arrested in connection with the attack.
Puentespina said she hopes to go to law school in the future and wants to put the attack behind her.
“I want to move on with my life and this guy needs to be caught for that to happen,” she said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the incident happened at the Woodhaven Boulevard J/Z station.