EXCLUSIVE: Elderly choking victim opens up about brutal Palm Harbor attack

Suspect in the attack, 20-year old Emmanuel Qosaj, is now out of jail on bond

PALM HARBOR, Fla (WFLA) – When a 20-year old man viciously attacked a 75-year-old woman in Palm Harbor on Thursday, she thought she was going to die.

“Without a second…with no way to change it there was a chain around my neck and I couldn’t breath.  I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t scream,”  said the victim, who asked not to be identified.

“And I just felt and it wasn’t like I could get my hands around it and loosen it.  I knew I was dying right then and there.”

The suspect, Emanuel Qosaj (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

It happened at 3:30 p.m. on 1st Court in Palm Harbor in the Wedgewood Condominium Complex.

The victim spoke exclusively to News Channel 8.

She now has bruises all over her body is now in fear her attacker may come back and finish the job he started.

Emanuel Qosaj, 20 was arrested at the scene.  He’s now facing numerous charges including attempted murder.  Shortly after his arrest, he posted bond and walked out of jail.

The victim is nervous and outraged in the same breathe.

“He was a dangerous individual.  He shouldn’t be on the street. ”

The victim was simply headed to get her mail, walking her dog, Gizmo when the violent incident occurred.

She noticed Qosaj walking with his dog and his girlfriend, and tells News Channel 8 she didn’t think much of it.

“I never seen him before in my life.  He came out of nowhere,”  said the victim.  “Like I said, when you walk your dog, you’re friendly with people and you have a reason to talk to each other.”

According to investigators, Qosaj took a dog leash and started choking the victim and punching her at the same time.

She tells News Channel 8 her life flashed before her eyes.

“I just knew, I said, I can’t die.  I can’t die.  My daughters, my children lost their father two years ago I can’t die.  I can’t let that happen.  And I just kept screaming and screaming at the top of my lungs.”

Deputies heard her screams and were able to nab the suspect.  She was taken to the hospital and released on Friday night.

The victim tells News Channel 8 she has no idea why the man attacked her and that he threatened to kill her repeatedly during the ordeal.

She recalls hearing the suspect’s friend telling him to stop or he would go to jail.

Now she worries that she won’t be able to walk outside again, without fear something like this will happen again.  She says she believes had the attack lasted any longer than it had, the outcome could’ve been much different.

“I can’t believe I’m alive.  I can’t believe it,” cried the victim.  “Because when that chain went around my neck I had no chance.  I had no chance of living.  I was accepting the fact that I was going to die right then because I couldn’t stop it.”

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