WEST MONROE -- Bruises and stitches cover Sheila Maxwell's face, a reminder of what the West Monroe resident went through last week.
"I thought he wanted money," she said, during an interview with KTVE on Monday. She requested her face not be shown.
On Wednesday night, she said a man tried stealing her car. He didn't take off with it, but did leave her with a broken nose and a lot of pain.
"When things like this happen to you, you're not thinking clearly because its at the spur of the moment. And you don't think you just react," she said.
Maxwell dropped a patient off at Glenwood Regional Medical Center as a part of her job taking care of sick patients. As she walked back through the parking lot, she said she didn't notice anyone around her at first.
"I had gotten to my car and right before it shut, somebody grabbed it, and kept it from shutting," she said.
Maxwell said the man told her he had just gotten out of jail. He also told her to scoot over.
"If he would have made her scoot over, there's no telling what he could have done, he could have killed her, could have raped her," said Hope Reese, a close friend.
The conversation continued in the parking lot and Maxwell said the man became very aggressive toward her. She even offered him her purse, but he wouldn't take it.
According to the police report, the man leaned over and said, "I want your car, either get out or move over."
She said she continued to refuse because her passenger door is locked and will not open from the inside -- she was scared to risk what he could have done if she stayed in the car. The man told her he would hit her if she didn't comply, according to the report.
Maxwell said when she tried pushing him out, he started hitting her with a blunt object wrapped in a brown paper bag.
"I started hollering Jesus to top of my lungs," she said. "I guess in his mind he thought he had hit me hard enough to knock me out, well it didn't. He looked around like, 'What am I going to do now?' He said, 'I guess I better go then' and turned around and walked off."
The man fled into a wooded area, while Maxwell went back to the hospital where she was met by security and treated for her injuries.
West Monroe Police sent out the suspect information over the radio, and units began circulating.
Police did take an individual into custody, a man who had been asking for rides at the hospital and was last seen before the crime at the McDonald's across the street. The report says the officer noticed a small blood spot on the man's pants. He was questioned and photographed by police, but Maxwell knew by looking at a picture of the man, that he was not the same person who attacked her.
West Monroe Police are still searching for the assault suspect.
"They've been doing everything they know to do, in order to help me, and I appreciate that," said Maxwell.
Police scoured the area for clues. The police report said the hospital had no working cameras in that parking lot.
"There's no footage from any cameras from Glenwood hospital's parking lot or any of the surrounding businesses. We've check numerous businesses," said detective Matt Graves with WMPD.
Glenwood Regional Medical Center issued this statement Monday afternoon:
"The staff of Glenwood Regional Medical Center is shocked at this deplorable act of random violence. Our hearts go out to this victim, and she will be in our thoughts and prayers as she recovers from this senseless incident. While our hospital, like most places of business, has active security measures, these kinds of violent episodes happen so quickly and without warning that preventing them or investigating them once they happen is appropriately the job of law enforcement. We are working closely with local authorities with their investigation of this disturbing crime."
- Ron Elder, CEO, Glenwood Regional Medical Center
"At this point now, we're scheduling a time for the victim to come in and get with a forensic artist to do a composite drawing of the suspect," said Graves.
Maxwell's sister posted a photo of her injuries on Facebook Sunday night, getting almost 10,000 shares. Maxwell says she didn't intend for it to go viral, and has requested the image not be posted any further.
"I don't want it happening to no body else, not what happened to me," she said. "And if this is what it takes for it not to happen, I'll suffer."
Her friends say she didn't deserve the attack last week.
"Sheila's a sweet loving person, sweet woman," said Reese."Just pray that they catch this man, and if you hear anyone say anything or bragging about it, please call them."
Maxwell said she parked under a light post, thinking that would make a difference. Thankful to be alive, she has advice for others.
"Always look around you, because I wasn't that night, I was just focused on getting to my car, because it was late. But always look around you, be aware of your surroundings," she said. "I say i forgive that guy for what he did, but they need to pay."
Maxwell says she'll need reconstructive surgery on her nose. She is recovering well in good spirits. She wants to thank her friends at Lapine Assembly of God, her family and the local police in helping her through this time.
The suspect is described as a dark skinned black male that is about 5'4" to 5'6" in height. He has a medium to husky build. At the time of the attack, the man was wearing a black zip up sweater, possibly fleece, with a black beanie hat on with writing across the forehead. It's unsure if he had facial hair.
If you have any information on the suspect, you're asked to contact West Monroe Police at (318) 396-2722.