Fairfax woman says homeless man attacked her unprovoked while she was walking dog

Security cameras captured a shirtless suspect moments before he allegedly attacked Sigal Engelberg as she walked her 8-year-old dog in the Fairfax District.

"There was nothing that me or my dog did to draw his attention — he just came at us," Engelberg said.

In the footage, the suspect suddenly appeared from across the street and chased after Engelberg. "Suddenly out of nowhere he just came up behind me and swung really hard, and punched me right here on the cheek," she said, pointing to a wound that doctors told her was a hematoma.

Another camera angle showed Bijou, the dog, trying to defend Engleberg. The suspect, believed to be homeless, walked away without saying a word.

"I had a black eye — my face was swollen to twice the size. I lost several layers of skin on my knee and my arm. The wound was open and bleeding for a week," Engelberg recounted. "I couldn’t sleep on this side of my face, but I also couldn’t sleep on this side because of the arm — so for the first week after the attack I was really in so much pain."

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The attack occurred on June 24 just after 4:30 p.m. on Melrose Avenue and Crescent Heights Boulevard, an area Engelberg had felt safe in for years.

"He could have killed me — if he hit me a certain way or kept hitting me, or if I hit my head on the ground at a bad angle — that’s what’s so scary about it. He could kill somebody, and he’s just out there," Engelberg said.

Engelberg has started venturing out with Bizou again, even trying to walk past the spot where the attack happened. Bizou, however, refuses to go back.

"She clearly was impacted by it and knows this is a spot where something bad happened," Engelberg said. "I’m really worried that he could kill somebody — he hit me so hard and it was completely unprovoked."

Police are urging anyone who sees the suspect to keep a distance and call 911 immediately.