By Madina Toure
A homeless woman has been arrested and charged with slashing the throat of an off-duty police officer after she refused to give the suspect her purse in Cunningham Park Friday afternoon, according to the Queens DA and the NYPD.
Police received a call at about 1:58 p.m. indicating that an off-duty officer had been stabbed as she was walking her dog near 197th Street and Union Turnpike in the park, according to a police spokeswoman.
The suspect, identified as Avril Lindo, 55, tried to steal the officer’s pocketbook and slashed her on the left side of her neck and fled empty-handed, the spokeswoman said.
Lindo was charged with attempted murder, attempted assault, attempted robbery and assault, according to a complaint filed by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
The officer was walking her dog when Lindo approached her from behind, grabbed her around the neck and pulled at the officer’s bag, according to the complaint.
In response, Lindo held a sharp, shiny and silver object to her neck, applied pressure to her neck and then let her go, the complaint said, causing the officer to suffer a laceration from beneath her ear to the middle of her neck.
She was bleeding and felt substantial pain to her neck and began to scream for help, the complaint continued.
The complaint said a witness who observed the officer screaming for help chased Lindo, who turned backed and yelled at her.
The officer pointed at Lindo, stating that she stabbed her and that she was running away from the location and that the witness chased Lindo, who turned back toward her and yelled at her, the complaint added.
A police spokeswoman identified the witness as a Parks Department employee, who followed Lindo while the officer called 911.
When officers arrived on the scene, they canvassed the area with a description of Lindo given by the officer, the spokeswoman said.
When the Parks employee returned to the scene, she told the officers where Lindo had fled, she said.
Lindo was arrested in the vicinity of Francis Lewis Boulevard and Grand Central Parkway, according to the spokeswoman.
The officer was taken to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset in stable condition, the spokeswoman said.
Scissors were recovered from the inside of an open tote bag Lindo was carrying, the complaint said.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour