‘It felt like a punch, you know, in the back of my neck’: Albany woman fighting to put her attacker behind bars

‘It felt like a punch, you know, in the back of my neck’: Albany woman fighting to put her attacker

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - An Albany woman is pleading with the community after a gruesome attack.

She needs your help finding the man who stabbed her in the neck.

Franchesca Merritt spoke about the attack for the first time on Monday.

Her intuition may have saved her life.

“You just get this gut feeling like something bad’s about to happen, but you just don’t know what,” said Merritt.

Franchesca Merritt wants to put her attacker behind bars.
Franchesca Merritt wants to put her attacker behind bars. (Source: WALB)

25-year-old Merritt has always lived in East Albany. But on Nov. 7, at 12:39 in the afternoon, a man Merritt had never seen before, decided to change her life forever.

Now she’s fighting back to have the man put behind bars.

“He just was pacing beside me, walking beside me, I could tell he was in my phone, as well, as close as he got to me. Trying to see what I was doing," Merritt said.

In the few seconds it took Merritt to look at the man out of the corner of her eye, he attacked.

“It felt like a punch, you know, in the back of my neck,” Merritt said.

The man stabbed Merritt, leaving a deep gash in the back of her neck.

“I don’t want it to be too graphic, but I haven’t seen the scar yet," Merritt said. "But everyone who has, their reaction is ‘wow, he got you really deep.’”

Merritt was simply walking around her neighborhood on School Street, in broad daylight, after a workout.

“He just waited until I was by myself and just tried to do whatever he tried to do to me,” said Merritt.

In a surveillance video, the man crosses the Turner Elementary School Parking lot when he sees her walk by. Sensing someone walking close to her, adrenaline starts pumping. She’s able to escape his hold.

APD needs your help identifying this man.
APD needs your help identifying this man. (Source: WALB)

Now, Merritt has a message for other women.

“Don’t be scared to walk, or let what happened to me let you be afraid to walk in the community or wear what you want to wear to work out. It doesn’t give a man a right to violate you the way he violated me or try to do whatever he tried to do to me. It’s just not right,” Merritt said.

If you know who the man is, or have seen him at all, you’re asked to call the Albany Police Department at (229) 431-2132.

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