Caught on video: Brutal random attack leaves Charlotte woman seriously injured, family enraged

The crime, hard to believe. The aftermath, difficult to look at. The ending, a miracle.
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 10:35 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A brutal attack, caught on video. Altavia Gill was waiting for a city bus, going home after seeing friends.

That’s when a man she’d never seen violently began punching her, causing the 48-year-old to black out. Others witnessed what happened, but at first, she says, no one stepped in to help.

The crime, hard to believe. The aftermath, difficult to look at. The ending, a miracle.

“He would have killed me out there.” the victim said.

Altavia Gill survived what some may not have. A brutal beating by a man she didn’t know, with bystanders many refusing to help.

Video taken during the attack is horrifying. In it, you can see Gill being straddled by the suspect as he drove her head into the concrete.

“He was on my back, and just taking my face and doing it like that.”Altavia Gill said.

It happened this past weekend when Altavia was headed to catch a bus off of Beatties Ford Road after seeing a friend. An unknown man walking the other way caught her gaze. As he passed by her, that’s when Altavia says he struck.

“I had a feeling he was going to walk past me, I had no idea he was going to swing at me,” she said.

She says the attack was sustained and violent. The attack drew sharp outrage from Gill’s family.

“You don’t know her she don’t know you. You had no business putting your hands on her and I want something done for my sister,” said Cassandra Smith, Gill’s sister.

Gill’s son also watched the video from his home in Atlanta, and says it brought out a lot of anger.

“It infuriated me and it made me feel helpless. It made me feel helpless because I couldn’t help her,” Dezon Gill told WBTV.

Gill said when at first no one stepped up to help, she felt powerless.

“I just wanted someone to help me and that was my biggest fear,” Altavia Gill said.

Finally, a witness was able to pull the assailant off and hold him until police arrived. He was arrested and hit with several charges.

For Gill, the road to recovery will be a long and painful one. Eight weeks until the swelling goes down, eardrum damage and facial surgery.

She wasn’t able to thank the people who did help her that night, but if she could get one thing out there, she wants more people to get involved if they see others in need of help.

“Just try to step in for your safety, because a person like me really needed the help,” Altavia Gill said.

Police say the suspect in the case, whose name has not been released, has been charged with aggravated assault, assault by strangulation and inflicting serious injury.

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