Bicyclist attacked on Pittsburgh's South Side describes ordeal for jury
Colin Albright felt cold metal against his neck and realized his attacker moved the knife in a slicing motion, but his devastating injury didn't register in that moment.
“I didn't feel the injury. I didn't notice any blood,” said Albright, 26, of Garfield. “I was too distracted by the extremity of the circumstance.”
Albright, formerly of the South Side, testified on Monday in the first day of the trial of his alleged attacker, Anthony Scholl Jr., 23, of West Homestead, who is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person. In a case that shocked the city and devastated Pittsburgh's bicycling community, he recollected for the jury what happened on the city steps leading up to the South Side Slopes shortly before 11 p.m. Sept. 5, 2012.
“I knew the person was attacking me, to some extent,” Albright said. “I was in no position to resist. ... I said, ‘You can take the bike.' ”
But the attacker wasn't after Albright's bicycle. Albright said that after he was stabbed in the back of the head, the attacker held his forehead to expose his neck, placed a knife against his throat, paused and slit. The attacker ran down the stairs, got into a car and drove away.
“I need an ambulance. I just got attacked,” Albright said in a 911 tape played for the jury.
Scholl's attorney Ryan Tutera told jurors that the evidence Assistant District Attorney Kevin Chernosky presents during the trial will not persuade them to convict his client. Police found no DNA, fingerprints or a weapon, Tutera said, adding that after they discount Scholl's “police-extracted admission,” all that's left is Albright's identification. Albright identified Scholl in a photo lineup and wrote “very similar” next to his picture. Police arrested Scholl on Oct. 25, 2012.
“It's close, but it's not there,” Tutera said.
Albright held down his collar and showed jurors his scars — four stab wounds in the back of his head, one on his shoulder and a gash across his neck. Albright lost between a third and half of his body's blood. He was hospitalized for a week at UPMC Mercy, Uptown.
“Colin Albright is a survivor,” Chernosky told the jury. “He waited that day for his attacker to get far enough away to seek help, he waited for police to arrive, he waited with photo array after photo array. ... I'm going to ask you to deliver a verdict that makes Colin Albright wait no longer.”
The trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Edward Borkowski is expected to last three days.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.