CLIFFSIDE PARK — A woman was saved from serious injury on Monday morning during an unprovoked attack by man with a knife, police said.

Elias Guarcas, 30, a Guatemala national who is in this country illegally, was arrested after several people witnessed the attack and a cab driver chased him down, according to police.

The woman told police she saw a man running toward her before 7 a.m. Monday and assumed he was running to catch a bus.

Rather than getting on a bus, Guarcas pulled a knife and demanded money from her, police said. The woman told him the only money she had was $10 in her hand, which Guarcas took.

A woman delivering newspapers saw the incident and called police. It was also seen by a cab driver.

After honking his horn repeatedly to alert people to the situation, the driver got out of his car when Guarcas lunged at the woman, according to police. The driver chased and captured Guarcas before police arrived.

Guarcas was charged with first-degree robbery, fourth-degree possession of a weapon, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, as well as a disorderly persons charge of theft.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has requested that the Bergen County jail hold Guarcas on an immigration detainer, police said.

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