NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A little girl gave heart-wrenching testimony in court on Tuesday, about a savage attack she survived nearly 4 years ago.
Mikayla Capers and a 6-year-old friend were on their way up to a Brooklyn apartment to get ice cream when they were both stabbed in an elevator.
Her friend died.
On Tuesday, Mikayla and her family continued to fight their justice.
At 11-years-old Capers is almost as tall as her great-grandmother.
It’s the first time the young survivor has been seen on video since August of 2014, just two months after she was stabbed in a brutal attack inside a NYCHA elevator.
Her friend PJ was killed.
“Mikayla’s in therapy. Mikayla suffers from PTSD. Ask me about the nightmares,” her great grandmother Regenia Trevethan said.
CBS2 met exclusively with Trevethan and Mikayla before the little girl testified for the first time in open court.
It was June of 2014, and the kids had been playing outside — with adult supervision — in the Boulevard Houses where they lived.
They were heading back inside where the family said another adult was upstairs.
“PJ asked if we could go get iceys. I didn’t want him to go by himself, so I asked to go with him” Mikayla testified.
She said the front door hinges were broken and they went inside into the elevator.
Mikayla said the stabbing suspect — Daniel St. Hubert — a man she didn’t know, got in with them.
She didn’t go into detail, but said the elevator didn’t even move.
“No one ever pressed the button,” she said.
The stabbing happened in the elevator as it was stopped at the first floor.
“I was able to crawl out before the door closed,” she said.
Her testimony is at the center of the family’s civil case against NYCHA.
Trevethan said they’re suing the city housing authority because the building’s door locks were broken and surveillance cameras were not installed until after the stabbing.
She called a $550,000 settlement offer a slap in the face.
“This is absurd. This is shameful for New York City,” she said. “The city of New York pays for sexual harassment, $2-million and up. They pay an inmate, who’s incarcerated, who’s been slashed, they settle with him for millions of dollars, or almost a million.”
In opening statements on Tuesday, NYCHA’s attorney said the suspect St. Hubert, is 100 percent responsible.
“All thinking, feeling human beings agree, the crime that occurred was horrible,” the attorney said. ‘How did the assailant get into the premises? To this day, no one knows. It’s impossible to say the building owner did something wrong.”
He added that testimony will show there were no problems with the locks in the week leading up to the attack.
Trevethan called out the mayor and the head of NYCHA, saying Mikayla is the forgotten child.
“Listen to her tell the horror when she had to crawl out the building bleeding profusely, and the door was still open and broke,” she said.
They are requesting unspecified damages for Mikayla’s future treatments. The NYCHA attorney could not speak on camera. A spokesman for the agency could not comment on pending litigation.
The criminal trial against St. Hubert will not being until March 1, at the earliest.
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