MINEOLA, N.Y. (WCBS) - A college student in New York is recovering as police search for the suspect who threw acid in her face.
“My whole life changed in a matter of five minutes,” Nafiah Ikram said. “We don’t realize what we have until it’s gone.”
Ikram’s life as a Hofstra University student changed on March 17 as she arrived home from work. While walking from her car, she saw a man watching from the corner. He then ran up to her and threw a cup of liquid in her face.
“I started to cry, and I was panicking,” she said. “I was like, ‘Dad, someone threw something in my face,’ and he said, ‘Oh god, it’s acid.’”
Ikram sustained burns to her arms, face, eye and throat.
“She was in the hospital for three weeks,” her father Sheikh Ikram said. “She is still not able to eat properly. She can’t see anything. Only one eye is working.”
“I can just see colors, but that’s it,” Nafiah Ikram added.
The suspect is described to be 6 feet, 2 inches tall with a skinny build. He allegedly fled in a red Nissan Altima.
The unrecognizable man said nothing during the reportedly unprovoked attack.
“I want to know, what’s the reason,” Nafiah Ikram said. “What could I have possibly done to somebody?”
“That is the big question,” Sheik Ikram added. “Because she doesn’t have any enemies. We don’t have any enemies.”
Celebrity chef Padma Lakshmi and community leaders are urging the public to help law enforcement in finding the man.
“We want to find the people who did this terrible heinous crime,” Lakshmi said.
The Ikrams do not believe the attack was a hate crime, but it has them living in fear.
“It’s been a horrible nightmare for us,” Nafiah Ikram’s mother Sherina Mohammed said.
Supporters have set up a go GoFundMe for the family, but while it’s appreciated, it offers little solace.
“No amount of money in this world will replace her vision,” Mohammed said. “Anybody who has a clue, be a human being and come forward.
The Nassau Police Department is offering $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest.