A tourist visiting from Washington State was recovering on Monday after he was stabbed in the back of his head in midtown over the weekend as he celebrated his recent engagement, his fiancée said.
Connor Rasmussen, 23, was back home on Monday after he was attacked early Sunday as he walked with a group of friends near East 46th Street and Madison Avenue. He was ambushed from behind and pulled the knife out himself, his now-fiancée Jordan Asher said.
“We’re all OK, which is what really matters,” Asher said. “He’s just sore, he has a lot of stitches, his neck is sore. But he’s perfectly fine.”
But Rasmussen’s weekend started on a happier note: he traveled to New York, his first ever visit to the city, to surprise Asher. She was already on vacation in the NYC with her mom and friends, and as Asher walked toward the Wollman rink to go ice skating, she noticed Rasmussen standing on a rock.
The two have known each other their entire lives, Asher said, and she said yes.
After the group went out to dinner to celebrate, Rasmussen dropped Asher at her hotel. He and a few friends then started walking to their own hotel, when police said he noticed someone following him.
“Hey Ryan, hold up,” the suspect yelled at Rasmussen, who was with his friend Ryan Asher — and his new brother-in-law-to-be — at the time, a police source said. It was not immediately clear if the suspect knew the group or just chose the name Ryan coincidentally.
“He stumbled forward, but stayed on his feet,” Jordan Asher said. “He turned around and looked at him. Connor yelled at his friends to run.”
The suspect, described as a man in his 30s, drove a steak knife in the base of his head, police said.
“He didn’t know he was stabbed at first,” Jordan Asher said. “He thought he just got hit in the head. He realized that something was sticking out of him and he pulled out the knife. He was really calm.”
Rasmussen was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center where he was treated and released, police said.
“It was definitely one of the scariest moments of my life,” Jordan Asher said. “It was crazy. It’s a complete miracle, there’s no way he should be perfectly fine, able to walk.”
A woman in the group also suffered a scratch to the face during the attack, police said.
But by Monday, the family was safe at home.
“He’s doing remarkable,” said Kelli Asher, Jordan’s mother, about her future son-in-law.
The suspect was last seen fleeing toward Fifth Avenue. Police had custody of the knife, but no arrests had been made as of Monday evening.