A warning: the images in this story are graphic.
An Albuquerque teen is recovering from being violently robbed in Nob Hill over the weekend. Her attacker, who bashed her face in with a gun, is still on the run.
Like many young college students, Val Hernandez, 19, frequents Nob Hill on the weekends. She never expected something like this to happen.
“I’m doing a lot better, just my face… it hurts. But other than that, I’m glad to be home,” she said.
Hernandez says she went out with friends to Nob Hill Bar & Grill on Saturday night, then went to Last Call for some food, after.
“Some of the girls I work with were like, ‘Come out with us,’ so I was like, sure why not?” she said.
After getting her burrito at the end of the night, she walked by herself to her car at Bryn Mawr and Silver, about a block off Central.
“I always check when I’m walking somewhere by myself. I always have my keys ready. I always look around to see who’s around me,” she said, “and I never saw him.”
Hernandez says she got into her car and locked it.
“I opened my burrito and took one bite, and then I was going to start my car and I just felt glass all over me,” she described.
She says she looked to her left to find a man, who she believes was in his 30s, short and skinny with a long face, a mustache and glasses, standing there. He demanded her purse.
“I just looked at him and I was like ‘No, I’m not going to give you my purse,’ and then that’s when he took out his gun and started hitting me in the face,” she said.
He hit her over and over again until she couldn’t fight back anymore. He took the purse and drove off in a nearby car, leaving the UNM student in a pool of blood.
She says she ran toward Nob Hill Bar & Grill for help and saw the backdoor was open. Employees called police and paramedics, and she went to the hospital.
“I had to get [seven] stitches,” she said, pointing to her forehead and lip, along with a broken nose.
She said Albuquerque Police officers later told her that there were no cameras in the area to capture what happened to her.
“I’ve never seen him in my life. I feel like he was just there waiting for anyone or him to attack,” she explained. “It wasn’t him just following me or stalking me. I feel like he was just there waiting on whoever.”
She’s still shocked and says she won’t be going anywhere at night without friends or a weapon on her from now on.
“I’m just glad to be alive because it could have gone a lot worse,” she said.
She says she hasn’t heard from APD since she left the hospital, but did discover that someone used her credit cards at a casino and at a gas station after the attack. She’s hoping that will lead to an arrest.
If you know anything about what happened, please call 242-COPS.