Originally created 02/25/97

Woman recovers from knife attack, robbery



AIKEN - Safely at home Monday night, Lizzie Bell Lewis was counting her blessings after surviving an attack by a knifewielding bandit earlier that morning.

The assailant first hit her in the head as she got out of her car in the parking lot outside Sears department store, where Ms. Lewis works as a cashier.

"I just thank God that I made it out," Ms. Lewis said. "I was just trying to protect myself. My reflex was to throw up my hands."

That's when the man began stabbing her, she said.

Police are investigating whether the bandit, who demanded the store's safe combination from his victim, might have intended to rob the store at Aiken Mall on Whiskey Road.

"He might have known she worked in the store," said Capt. Tom Galardi, spokesman for the Aiken Department of Public Safety. "We really don't know at this point."

Ms. Lewis, 43, of Aiken, was treated and released from Aiken Regional Medical Centers, hospital officials said.

Contacted at home Monday night, Ms. Lewis said she suffered one stab wound to the upper thigh and several "very bad" cuts.

According to a police report filed at Aiken Department of Public Safety, Ms. Lewis got out of her car a few minutes before 7 a.m. when a man came up behind her and struck her in the head.

When she fought back, the man stabbed her several times in the front of her body, Capt. Galardi said.

As they struggled, the man cursed and yelled, "Give me the combination to the safe," and "Give me some money," Ms. Lewis told police.

The bandit stole money from Ms. Lewis' purse before fleeing. But police said her checkbook and credit cards, covered with her blood, were found on the ground. There was also blood on the inside of the car door on the driver's side, Capt. Galardi said.

A passerby spotted Ms. Lewis lying in the parking lot and called 911. Capt. Galardi said she has been unable to give a physical description of her attacker except to say that he was wearing a black cap with a red and white design - possibly a flag.

No witnesses have been found and no weapon was recovered, Capt. Galardi said.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Detective Morris Deason at the public safety department, (803) 642-7620.

Aiken attack

According to a police report filed at Aiken Department of Public Safety, Lizzie Bell Lewis got out of her car a few minutes before 7 a.m. when a man came up behind her and struck her in the head.

When she fought back, the man stabbed her several times in the front of her body, Capt. Tom Galardi said.

Ms. Lewis, 43, of Aiken, was treated and released from Aiken Regional Medical Centers, hospital officials said.

Contacted at home Monday night, Ms. Lewis said she suffered one stab wound to the upper thigh.



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