Police are on the hunt for a man who they say slashed a woman in the face with a box cutter.
Police say Christine Piernikowski, 57, was walking on Fairview and Walter Streets in Crum Lynne, Delaware County shortly before 11 a.m. on Monday. Suddenly, an unidentified man jumped towards the woman and confronted her.
The woman told police the man asked her for cigarettes. When she told him she didn’t smoke and didn’t have any, the man allegedly pulled out a box cutter and started swinging.
"I was afraid he was going for my throat," Piernikowski said.
Police say the man then continued to attack her and a scuffle broke out between the two when Piernikowski decided to fight back.
"When he bent down, I sucker-punched him," she said.
The suspect slashed Piernikowski's cheek with the box cutter three times before fleeing the scene north on Fairview. Piernikowski was taken to the hospital and treated for her injuries. She was later released.
"I really believe fighting back saved my life," she said. "I don't know what he would have done."
The suspect is described as a thin black male standing 6-feet tall with tight braids on the top of his head and thick, heavy-matted cornrows to his shoulders. He was last seen wearing black sweatpants with a red stripe and white t-shirt as well as bright, red shiny sneakers.
Residents in the area told police that the suspect was homeless and often squatted in buildings on Haverford Road, leaving in the morning when workers arrived and returning later in the day. Residents also told police that the man has a “strong body odor” and that people often stay away from him.
Police suspect the man was high on cocaine at the time of the attack. They also say he may be connected to a similar attack in Chester over the summer.