Ociel Herrera, a 41-year-old father in the Bronx, was taking an afternoon stroll with his 1-year-old child when a man attacked him with a knife.
“It happened out of nowhere. I was walking home with my son. He was riding a scooter. I was just watching my son play,” Herrera told the New York Daily News. “I just felt a strike on my face. I then realized he had cut the right side of my face. I noticed the blood. He had a blade. My son was in shock. He stood there paralyzed.”
“I grabbed my son’s scooter to defend myself and my son,” he added. “I got him to lose his blade. The police now have the blade.”
The shocked father said that he wasn’t the only victim of the attacker, either.
“He also attacked another man who walked out of his house. That man fell to the ground,” Herrera said. “My son was standing behind me. It all happened in a matter of eight seconds.”
A hate-filled attack
But what sticks in Herrera’s mind the most is what the man said when he attacked him: “f*** your country.” Herrera moved to New York from Mexico in 2009.
“I saw hate in his eyes,” Herrera said.
“I’m worried that these type of attacks against immigrants are happening more and more,” he said. “I’m still afraid, because police haven’t caught him yet. I’m nervous. Sometimes his grandma takes my son for a walk. What if (the attacker) recognizes him?”
Now, Herrera said, he is worried about the impact the attack will have on his son who was physically unharmed in the attack.
“At night my son wakes up screaming after having nightmares. He dreams that someone is trying to kill me,” he said. “I myself am afraid to go out on the street with my son.”
Police are investigating, and the attack has not yet been classified as a hate crime. They have released surveillance images and are looking for the suspect, who is described as being about 18, Black, 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds.