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Victim In Brutal Late-June Attack In Chelsea Speaks Exclusively To CBS2: 'I Fought It As Well As I Could'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The suspect in a violent attack in Chelsea was captured on surveillance video injuring a tourist and her friend as he tried to grab a bag from them last month.

The woman spoke exclusively to CBS2's Dave Carlin on Tuesday.

Investigators say it was a crime of opportunity by a man the two women did not know. He went for a bag, but they weren't giving it up.

"I don't really consider myself a victim. I fought it as well as I could," Natalia said.

Natalia did not wan CBS2 to include her last name, but she spoke to Carlin about what happened to her on West 15th Street the night of June 26.

Heading home from dinner at around 9:30 p.m., the man in the video grabs and then drags Natalia, in a battle over a bag that she had over one shoulder.

"Mine was here, and that's why for him it seemed like an easy target," she said. "I was on the ground and I was holding my bag with my weight."

Being pulled into a metal pole then dragged across pavement left a gash on Natalia's head, which she said required 10 stitches.

Her friend was punched in the face by the suspect, and at that moment another man walked up, a stranger who they were glad arrived when he did.

"He just came and the robber guy just let go of my bag," Natalia said.

"The back of her head was completely bloody," said Adriana Mariella, who ran over to the women and handed them her phone.

"He actually came back for her when they looked at the security footage. When we were inside the building. I let her come in," Mariella said.

"My advice to women: don't have your bag across like this," Natalia said.

Natalia, who is a native of Russia and recently graduated with an MBA, said she's still in the process of choosing where she'll settle down. Perhaps, it will be London. New York City was her first choice, and it still is.

"My love to New York cannot be changed by this," she said.

Natalia said her first thought was surrendering her bag was not an option, but now admits she probably should have let it go to avoid injury.

Meanwhile, the suspect remains on the loose. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.

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