‘Traumatized’ tourist stabbed in Times Square will never return to city, husband says

NEW YORK — A tourist exploring Times Square with her daughter was visiting the city for the first time when a man with an extensive criminal history knifed her in the chest in a terrifying caught-on-camera attack.

“She is completely traumatized,” the victim’s husband, John Lohr, exclusively told the New York Daily News on Monday. “We never want to go back to NYC ever again.”

Amber Lohr, 36, and her teen daughter were visiting from western Pennsylvania and shopping for a souvenir to bring back home as they neared the corner of W. 43rd St. and Eighth Ave. just before 6:15 p.m. on Saturday.

As Lohr and her daughter approached the Port Gourmet Deli, 61-year-old Cyril Destin sat on a walker outside the entrance, cops said.

Destin pulled his left hand out of the inner breast pocket of his jacket and abruptly stood up, surveillance footage shows.

With a sharp object in his hand, he lunged toward Lohr, who immediately began stumbling backward, the footage shows.

Lohr, her daughter and another women quickly backed away as Destin sat back down on the walker and appeared to take a drag on a cigarette, according to the footage.

The victim’s daughter, a nursing student, immediately administered emergency care.

“She handled it like a champ,” John said of his daughter. “Her instincts just kicked in. She took control of the whole situation.”

Medics rushed the wounded woman to Bellevue Hospital, where she was treated for a stab wound to her chest.

“My daughter called me,” John recalled. “I was in Pennsylvania. She calls me and said, ‘Mommy’s been stabbed!’ ”

Lohr raced to the city and took his family home, where his wife is recovering.

“She wanted to get the hell out of that place,” John said. “It changed our life and our child’s life forever.”

The couple has five children together.

Police quickly arrested Destin and charged him with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

His most recent address is the the former Times Square Hotel, which now serves as affordable housing for low-income, formerly homeless adults and people with serious mental illness, among others, according to nonprofit social services organization Breaking Ground.

The massive building is the “largest supportive residence in the country,” with 652 apartments.

A woman working at the deli Monday said Destin regularly stopped in for cigarettes, never causing any trouble.

Destin has numerous prior arrests, including for criminal mischief and menacing, and is known to the Police Department as “emotionally disturbed,” sources said.

“I don’t know why he’s out on the streets,” John said. “This is New York City. Where the towers fell, where the Statue of Liberty is. It’s a big place for tourists. I don’t understand why this guy is running around.

“I hope the guy rots in hell for what he did,” he added. “I hope they bring attempted murder charges against him.”