‘He cut me and ran’: Manhattan store manager slashed in face, seeks justice

Desteny Cabrera, a manager at a Manhattan clothing store, shows the stitches across her nose and face after a man slashed her while she was at work

Desteny Cabrera, a manager at a Manhattan clothing store, shows the stitches across her nose and face after a man slashed her while she was at work on March 27, 2021. (Credit: Handout from Cabrera)

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan — The manager of a Washington Heights clothing store appealed for help Saturday to find the man who slashed her in the middle of the face.

Desteny Cabrera, 22, told PIX11 News the attack was unprovoked.

“He asked me if I knew who he was and I said, ‘No,'” Cabrera said.  “Then he cut me and ran.”

Surveillance footage showed Cabrera running to the door of Stephx Designs on Audubon Avenue with her face bloodied. She yelled at people outside to call 911. An ambulance raced her to Harlem Hospital Trauma Center.

“The whole tip of my nose was completely detached,” Cabrera told PIX11 from her hospital bed. “I immediately went to surgery.”

The surveillance video showed Cabrera sitting down and looking at her cellphone by the store’s register shortly after 3 p.m. Friday, when the man entered the shop and approached her.

“He definitely aimed for my face,” Cabrera said. “I wasn’t wearing a mask.”

Cabrera said she doesn’t know why she was targeted.  

“I do not know why anyone would do this,” she added.

A review of surveillance footage from the past week revealed the suspect had shown up several times before.

“Security cameras show he went the week before, and I wasn’t there,” Cabrera said. “He was looking for me.”

Police are looking for this man in connection with a slashing inside a Washington Heights clothing store on March 26, 2021.

Cabrera said she normally works six days a week.

“I literally go to work and go home every day,” she said.

Detectives went to Cabrera’s hospital room Friday to speak with her.

A friend, meanwhile, started a GoFundMe to help her with hospital bills and future reconstructive surgery.

When asked about her recovery, Cabrera said she has to breathe through her mouth.

“It’s hard to breathe,” she added.

You can contribute to a GoFundMe assisting Cabrera here.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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