Gym Attack Victim Asks For Help Finding Suspect


UPDATED: Tuesday April 15, 2014 12:14 AM

A young woman ambushed and stabbed in a gym parking lot says she's hopeful police will catch her attacker before he hurts someone else.

Someone stabbed Rikki Whitaker outside the LA Fitness near Hilliard-Rome Road in West Columbus.

The attack happened early in the morning.  Whitaker says there was no one around to help her when the man grabbed her and told her several times...get in the car.

"Growing up my mom always said don't ever get in the car with somebody cause your chances of survival diminish so much," said Whitaker.  "I just remember thinking there's no way that's going to end well.  This is my only opportunity to fight back."

Whitaker managed to break free and make a run for it but not before the man stabbed her in the stomach. 

Whitaker says she's been in and out of the hospital ever since, and is dealing with physical and emotional scars.

"You think why me? Was it random? Or was that something that he was watching for? Was he watching me for a period of time?" she said.

Columbus police tell 10TV they've spent hours searching a citywide criminal data base, looking for men who match the attacker's description and have a history of violence against women. 

Detectives say Whitaker has looked at more than two dozen photos of possible suspects but hasn't identified any of them as the man who attacked her. 

Whitaker says she hopes anyone with any information comes forward.

"Anything that you've heard, any little bit helps I don't want anybody to be next," said Whitaker.

Read more on the search for the attacker.

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