A woman who is recovering after being attacked by a man who broke into her Santa Monica apartment last week has shared videos recounting the incident from her hospital bed.
Leigh Collins woke up in the middle of the night on Feb. 23 to find an unknown man in her Fifth Street residence, according to both the victim and Santa Monica police.
“He held me at knifepoint and wanted money. I gave him money and he attempted to rape me,” she said in a video update she shared after being released from surgery.
Her attacker forced his way into the ground-floor apartment through a window while she was asleep. The neighborhood, on Fifth Street just north of the 10 Freeway, is a popular tourist and pedestrian destination near many shops, hotels and other businesses.
Collins was stabbed several times in the forehead and arms and suffered a black eye. She also says parts of some of her fingers were cut off; as a graphic designer, the injuries mean she will be out of work for some time.
"I have another, maybe 4 to 5 inch stab wound on my forearm, another about the same length and width on the back of my left tricep, one stab injury to my left elbow that went down to the bone and cut through the tendon," Collins recounted from her hospital bed.
In the incident's immediate aftermath, Santa Monica Police Lt. Saul Rodriguez told KTLA, "We hope that she survives.” But he also said Collins was ultimately able to fight the assailant off and prevented an even worse outcome.
Despite the trauma, Collins indicated that she's in good spirits and ready to embrace a swift recovery.
"I have a room full of people around me — people that I love very much — and they're helping, and they're amazing," she said. "And I wish I could be with all of you."
Police have arrested 25-year-old parolee Rashad Devon Harris in connection with the incident. A trail of blood at the crime scene and other evidence helped identify him, investigators said.
Harris was taken into custody on Tuesday on suspicion attempted rape, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, kidnapping and probation violations. He is being held without bail and scheduled to appear in court Monday, inmate records show.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help raise funds for Collins' recovery.