A 21-year-old Chevy Chase woman was attacked and stabbed repeatedly in her Columbia University apartment Thursday night, and a New York City man has been charged in the attack, New York police reported yesterday.
Sarah M. Thomas of the 3500 block of Thornapple Street in Chevy Chase was reported in serious but stable condition yesterday at a Manhattan hospital. Police said she was attacked about 6:30 a.m. Thursday in her apartment on the university's uptown campus.
David Fillyau, 21, of Roosevelt Island was arrested about five hours after the attack and charged with attempted murder, assault, burglary and criminal possession of a deadly weapon, police said. They said he is not a student at the university.
Deputy Inspector Robert Frankel of the New York City police said Thomas was attacked after a man entered the 16th floor apartment Thomas shared with three other students in the Columbia-owned building and tied Thomas' hands while she was asleep.
Detective Ralph White said Thomas was stabbed about a half-dozen times with a butcher knife as she tried to fight off her attacker. Thomas then was able to stumble out of her room and scream for help. The attacker fled, police said.
"She put up a fierce struggle," Frankel said.
Thomas "was stabbed in the face, the side and the chest," White said yesterday. "She was full of blood . . . . We couldn't even tell" whether she had been beaten. "We haven't even been able to talk with her; she's been in pretty bad shape."
Michael Thomas of Takoma Park said his sister was also wounded in the liver. "She's recovering, she's stable but she's still in intensive care," said Thomas, after he returned from New York.
Sarah Thomas, a graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, is a fourth-year engineering student.