"Give me your purse and I just see the knife, I didn't even look at his face I just saw the knife and stood back and then tried looking around, running out into the middle of the street, calling for help."
Diem Nguyen relived her minutes of terror only to CBS 3 Tuesday night. The 43-year-old mother was shown in a surveillance tape as she desperately attempted to flee from an attacker.
The man came up to Nguyen and her 4-year-old daughter Friday night on Belmont Avenue as the two were walking into a Vietnamese market.
Nguyen says that's when she saw a knife shining in the man's hand, as he walked up and demanded her purse and threatened her daughter's life.
"He put the knife right on my daughter and said, 'If you run, I'll kill her.'"
Just steps away from the store's entrance, Nguyen is seen in the video making a move to the street to attempt to find help, leaving her young daughter in the arm's of their attacker.
It's a move she's now being criticized for.
"I don't know. In my mind I don't know what I'm thinking," said Nguyen.
She can then be seen running back into the camera view, her assailant just steps behind. She attempts to make her way into the store to get help, when the knife point finally hits its mark.
"He put the knife right here, he cut me and he ran," she said.
The man fled when customers heard her desperate cries for help and came running, potentially saving the lives of her and her daughter.
Although the visible wounds from the nightmare caught on camera will heal, for Nguyen, the emotional wounds will linger.
"It's a wake-up call for the Vietnamese community, all the people they see on the news, just be careful. I'd never think it could happen to me."
Springfield police say that man is still at large and they are investigating leads.
But they still need the public's help in finding him.
If you have any information, you are urged to call Springfield police. You can text "SOLVE" and your tip to "CRIMES" (274637) if you'd like to remain anonymous.
Copyright 2012 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, May 17 2013 6:40 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:40:04 GMT
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Saturday, May 18 2013 7:38 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:38:11 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 6:47 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:47:09 GMT
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