CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Presbyterian Hospital is adding additional patrols and evaluating security measures after a nurse was robbed and stabbed in a hospital employee parking lot.
That nurse left Presbyterian just before 2 a.m. Wednesday and started getting into her car in a lot on Hawthorne Lane when a man came up to her car and tried to force her inside.
Police say the man was likely laying in wait for a victim.
"This guy had probably been waiting for somebody to walk across the street a little bit further away from the hospital and see if he could get somebody who wasn't paying attention,” said Robert Fey, spokesperson with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. "He was brandishing a knife and told her to get inside the vehicle. So she did the absolute smartest thing possible and that was to not get inside the vehicle with this guy.”
The nurse screamed for help. The attacker stabbed her three times in the shoulder, stole her purse and a tote bag then ran away.
Middle of the night walks to her car in a parking lot is what Barbara Wolcott tries to avoid at all costs.
Wolcott and her family have been at Presbyterian Hospital pretty much all day every day for the last week because a relative is in intensive care.
"I will not leave out here by myself,” Wolcott said. “Very scary, I’m always looking around.”
Wolcott and her family got a security escort to their car earlier this week. "Because I'm afraid something will happen,” Wolcott said.
Presbyterian Hospital security officers offer escorts to parking ramps and lots 24-7. The nurse didn't have one.
However, police say it appears they practiced what she would do if attacked and it paid off. Police say it’s something everyone should do.
"If you just take a few minutes a day to go over something like this, it can save your life if you are caught in that situation,” said Fey.
Police are still trying to catch the attacker. The parking lot is lit at night but does not have surveillance cameras watching it, so the crime was not caught on tape.
The nurse's injuries are not life-threatening and she is doing ok.
Presbyterian isn't saying what other security measures the hospital is looking into.