The California woman who was pinned on the ground and repeatedly punched in the head by a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer last month broke her silence Sunday for the first time since the incident, saying she thought she was going to die.

“He grabbed me, he threw me down, he started beating me, he beat me,” 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock told the Associated Press, often speaking in whispers, holding her head or grimacing. “I felt like he was trying to kill me, beat me to death.”

Pinnock said she has been homeless the past several years. On July 1, she said, she was on her way to an area where she felt safe to sleep — an area, her attorney Caree Harper said, is accessible only by walking along an interstate ramp. The officer who allegedly attacked her, identified in court documents as Daniel Andrew, wrote in a report that Pinnock was a danger to herself and “upon contacting the subject she was talking to herself. The subject began telling me ‘I want to walk home’ and called me ‘the devil.’ The subject then tried to walk into traffic lanes,” according to the AP.

A passerby captured the incident on video, which shows an officer straddling Pinnock and punching her over and over on the side of her head. The footage ignited outrage after it was posted on YouTube and picked up by news outlets last month.

Several weeks ago, Pinnock filed a civil rights lawsuit against Andrew and Commissioner Joe Farrow for excessive force, assault, battery and a violation of due process rights, the Los Angeles Times reported. The CHP hasn’t identified the officer.

“He was just socking me with all his strength, with his hands all up over his head, giving it all he had,” Pinnock told ABC7.

The agency claimed the officer was trying to restrain Pinnock because she was walking along the freeway. It said the officer is on desk duty until an internal investigation is complete, which will likely take several more weeks, ABC7 reported.

Pinnock was released from the hospital last week after being treated for head injuries. Now, her speech is slurred, Harper told the AP.

On Sunday, Pinnock sat down with reporters and watched the video footage of the incident.

“Sometimes I look at it and I just burst out into tears and cry. And sometimes I am just stunned and shocked and I can’t cry. And sometimes, I don’t know what to do,” Pinnock told ABC7. “I just think why me? Why did it happen to me? What did I do?”