A Pakistani woman nearly died after falling victim to an acid attack just outside her home in Elmont, New York last month.
Hofstra University student Nafiah Fatima, 21, was helping her mother unload a car at their Arlington Avenue residence when the male suspect suddenly appeared around 8:15 p.m. on March 17.
Authorities said he carried a white-colored cup containing a dark-colored substance.
In a neighbor’s surveillance video, the suspect can be seen running up to Fatima while she was in her driveway, according to NBC New York. He threw the liquid onto Fatima’s face and fled the scene.
The suspect wore gloves and is presumed to have understood how dangerous the substance was, reported People.
The liquid reportedly caused severe burning on Fatima’s eyes, face, chest and arms.
Her parents were burned while trying to help their daughter after Fatima had run into the house, according to a GoFundMe page organized by her friends. They immediately called 911.
“Had the acid gotten into Nafiah’s lungs, she would have died,” the page read.
“When Nafiah screamed it caused the acid to go into her mouth, burning her tongue and throat, which prevented her from breathing. When Nafiah ran into her house and her parents saw her, they immediately tried to help her, but in the process the acid burned their hands and forearms as well.”
Fatima’s contact lenses also melted onto her eyes. It’s unclear whether she can still regain her vision.
The suspect remains at large. He is said to be 6 feet and 2 inches, has a skinny build and wore a black colored sweatshirt with a hood, according to the Nassau County Police Department.
As of this writing, the fundraising page has raised over $290,000 of its $1 goal for Fatima’s medical bills, home security, legal fees and loss of income. Fatima and her mother are both currently unable to work.
“We would like to thank everyone who shared/donated from the bottom of our hearts. We had no idea we had such an amazing support system! We surpassed both of our goals in less than 48 hours,” organizer and friend of Fatima, Shazia Anjum, wrote in an update Monday.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.
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