By Bianca Fortis
A 17-year-old Woodhaven girl was viciously attacked with a knife in front of her home Monday night, police said.
At 11:25 p.m., Natasha Martinez was walking home from work at the McDonald’s on 101st Avenue about seven blocks away.
As she was approaching her 85th Street home in a residential neighborhood, a male suspect followed her and then stabbed her repeatedly in the back and torso.
Her mother was home and discovered her after hearing her screams. Martinez was immediately taken to Jamaica Hospital and was reported to be in stable condition, according to police.
Police said the attack was apparently unprovoked. The only description police have of the suspect is that he was a male wearing a hooded sweatshirt. They released surveillance video of who they believe may be the attacker.
Police are investigating to see whether the incident is tied to another from June in which a Queens Village woman was stabbed multiple times in the throat. According to the New York Post, Kerline Denizard, 36, was returning home from work at about 4:45 a.m. when a man in a black hoodie approached her and attacked her.
“We’re looking at similarities between this and an event that happened in Queens, it’s a distance away — 105th Precinct — that happened on June 25,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told NBC New York on Wednesday. “We’re seeing if it’s a pattern here.”
By Wednesday afternoon, the blood that stained the sidewalk in front of the house had been cleaned. Only a few pieces of police tape remained.
Carlos Peon, a next-door neighbor, said he is an acquaintance of the Martinez family.
“We look out for each other,” he said. “This block really has that neighborhood feeling.”
Peon said he was home when the stabbing happened, but was unaware of the incident until his daughter came home and told him she saw police tape outside.
“My head is spinning. Not only is she young, but it’s not like she was out partying or anything,” he said about Martinez.
Peon described the 17-year-old as a nice, quiet girl.
“The last time I saw her was a week ago when she was doing the laundry for her family,” he said.
Already wary of the neighborhood, Peon said he does not allow his own daughter, who is 24, to walk the streets alone.
He said there is a minimal police presence in the area “except for the ones who write tickets,” he said.
No one at the Martinez home came to the door Wednesday afternoon.
Police are encouraging anyone with information about the stabbing to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.
Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.