New York authorities search for man who threw acid in college student's face
NASSAU COUNTY, NY - Last month, as a 21-year-old college student was headed home from work, a man approached her in the driveway of her own home and threw acid in her face.
The crime left the young woman with distorted vision as well as injuries to her throat and arms.
According to CNN, the incident occurred on March 17 in New York's in Western Long Island, and the student, Nafiah Ikram, says she immediately called out to her Dad for help.
Ikram said, "I started to cry and, like, I was panicking. I was like, 'Dad, someone threw something in my face!' And he was like, 'Oh my God, it's acid.'"
The Nassau County Police Department is not labeling the incident as a hate crime, and they say the suspect is still on the run.
A surveillance camera captured video of the attack, and authorities have described the suspect as a man with a skinny build who is approximately 6'2" tall. He was clad in a black hooded sweatshirt and gloves at the time of the attack.
Police also added, by means of a tweet, that they believe the suspect drove away in a red Nissan Altima.
Police say they're offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
After the attack, Ikram was rushed to the hospital and treated for serious injuries to her eye and throat and burns on her arms.
"She was in the hospital for three weeks, and she's still not able to eat properly," her father Sheikh Ikram told local reporters. "She can't see anything good. Only one eye is working."
"I can just see colors, but that's it," Ikram added. "My whole life changed in a matter of five minutes. We don't realize what we have until it's gone."
Ikram happens to be an acquaintance of "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi, who says she's known the family for a decade and is urging the public to share any information they might have with police.
"We want to find the people that did this terrible, heinous crime to her and we need your help," she said in a video on Instagram. "This is the nightmare of any parent to have this happen to your child."
She also encouraged people to contribute to a GoFundMe account to help pay for Ikram's continuing care.
So far, campaign has raised more than $366,000, but organizers said her medical costs are expected to be astronomical.
"Nafiah has stayed incredibly strong throughout this horrific event," the GoFundMe description reads. "Nafiah's only wish is that the attacker is caught so that she can feel safe in her own home.
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