2015-05-13 / News

Nurse recalls attack in driveway: ‘I was terrified’

By Ben Orcutt

A county nurse shows the scars after being attacked in mid-April. 
Ben Orcutt A county nurse shows the scars after being attacked in mid-April. Ben Orcutt She’d just gotten off work. After pulling a 12-hour overnight shift at a private Richmond facility where she works as a nurse, she pulled her car into the driveway of her North Chesterfield home and within seconds a gold Cadillac stopped, blocking the driveway entrance.

It was about 10 a.m. on April 16. The 32-year-old nurse, who spoke to the Observer on the condition that her identity not be revealed, said during a recent interview at her home that she looked into her rearview mirror and saw an unknown black woman get out of the Cadillac.

“As I was getting out, I noticed her getting out,” the nurse said, adding that she left the engine running in her car. “I didn’t have anything in my hands because I wanted to know what was going on. I normally pull all the way down my driveway. I stopped [short] because she stopped at my driveway. She didn’t run, but she was walking fast in a very aggressive manner, and I knew something was about to go down.”

The woman pulled what looked like a box cutter from her right pants pocket as she walked toward her, the nurse said.

“She pulled the blade out [of] her pocket and came after me,” the nurse said. “By me knowing what I know as far as my field of nursing, I knew I had to protect my neck so that’s why my arms got it real bad. I didn’t want her to cut my neck.

“It caught me off guard. It happened so fast. The first one got me on my left cheek, and that’s when I started protecting my face and my neck with my arms.”

Although the attack seemed to last an eternity, the nurse said it was over in a couple of minutes. She said her life flashed before her eyes.

“That’s a blade,” the nurse said. “The only thing it had to do was nick my jugular vein, and I would have bled to death in my driveway. I was terrified. I was petrified. I wasn’t hollering. I was just protecting myself.”

Her attacker never said a word, the nurse said.

“She didn’t open her mouth,” the nurse recalled. “The shocking part of it [is] I wasn’t screaming. I was just so focused on protecting myself.”

After cutting her multiple times, her attacker turned around and walked briskly back to her Cadillac, the nurse said.

“I guess she had done what she was going to do,” the nurse said. “I turned around automatically and went inside my home. I called my girlfriend. She took me to the hospital so the hospital got the police for me.”

Her friend drove her to Chippenham Medical Center, where hospital staff cleaned her wounds. Luckily, the wounds were superficial, the nurse said. The wounds were wrapped, and she received a tetanus shot.

The nurse said she gave as complete a description of her attacker as she could to police. She said her attacker was a stocky black female, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with her hair in corn rows. The attacker appeared to be in her late 20s to about 35.

The nurse also said she told police that her attacker was wearing a “McDonald’s work shirt and dark pants and tennis shoes.”

Chesterfield Police are still investigating the incident, said Elizabeth Caroon, a police department spokeswoman. No arrest has been made, Caroon added.

Although she did not know her attacker, the nurse said that she recognized another woman sitting in the Cadillac during the assault as someone she worked with. A rift had taken place between the two, the nurse said, a couple of days before she was attacked in her driveway.

The nurse said she went back to work the day after the attack but wore long sleeves to cover her bandages. She said she tries to be more observant of her surroundings.

“I find myself always looking when I’m out driving,” the nurse said. “I find myself always looking for that car, but I’m not terrified to go out into my community because I believe in God heavily, and I know he’s my protector, so I still go out and go about my daily things.”

The nurse said her girlfriend remained with her after returning home from the hospital. She lives at home with her parents and has an 11-year-old daughter. The nurse’s friend waited with her until her parents arrived home from work.

When the nurse told her mother what had happened, her mother cried. And when her daughter got home from school “she was concerned about it, but I made up something.”

The wounds on her arms are healing, and her emotional health also has gotten better, the nurse said.

“Mentally it’s just shown me how cruel and disregarding people can be,” the nurse said. “What she did to me, somehow, some way she’s going to have to face something in her life or whatever. Now, I’m not wishing nothing on nobody, not even her, but it’s just the inevitable.”

The nurse said she is confident police are working diligently to solve the case.

“I just want it to be over,” the nurse said. “I really just want to try to forget about it. I think her intention was to hurt me badly. I don’t feel like she was trying to go for my neck. I feel like she was just swinging a blade and landing with each swing.”

The nurse said that while she still tends to her wounds, she doesn’t have time to feel sorry for herself.

“I put my crème on like I do three times a day and just move on,” she said. “I got a daughter. I can’t and weep and be all depressed about it. I got to keep moving.”

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