A Nassau County Legislator has called for an increase in the reward to find the person who threw acid on an Elmont native and Hofstra student in March.
Legislator Carrie Solages (D-Valley Stream) described the attack against Nafiah Ikram, a 21-year-old Pakistani Hofstra student and Sewanhaka graduate, “horrific” and urged that the county’s Crime Stoppers reward for the assailant be increased from $20,000 to $50,000.
“The assault on Nafiah Ikram is one of the most horrific crimes that our community has been confronted with in recent memory,” Solages said in a statement. “By significantly increasing the Crime Stoppers reward to $50,000, we can focus public attention on solving this case so that Ms. Ikram and her family receive the justice and closure they deserve.”
Efforts to reach a representative from the county’s police department on whether or not the reward will be increased were unavailing.
Ikram and her mother parked their car outside their Arlington Avenue home on the night of March 17 and were about to walk inside when an unknown man ran up to her and threw acid on her face. Footage of the incident was caught on a neighboring house camera.
Officials from the Nassau County Police Department said the male attacker was approximately 6-foot-2 and wore a black hooded sweatshirt and gloves. He fled in a red 2013-2015 Nissan Altima, according to police. Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said in April that there was not enough evidence to determine if the attack against Ikram was a hate crime.
The acid caused Ikram to scream, which resulted in the liquid spreading to her mouth, according to a GoFundMe page to help fund the various medical procedures needed. Her tongue and throat were burned as a result of the attack, along with burns and scars on her face, according to the page.
Ikram ran into the house, where her parents attempted to help her, but the acid burned her parents’ arms and hands as well, the page said.
The acid caused “severe burning” on Ikram’s eyes, chest and arms, according to the post. She was also wearing contact lenses, which were melted to her eyes as a result of the acid.
Ikram said last month she is taking the recovery one day at a time, but appreciated the outpouring of support from the community, which has raised more than $530,000 on the GoFundMe page.
“As I’m beginning to heal, I realize it’s going to be a very long and challenging journey,” Ikram said. “I’m going to need very complex medical care and surgeries. It’s not going to be easy, but I will continue to stay strong knowing that I have the world supporting and rooting for me.”
Ikram’s mother, Sherina Mohammed, told CBS that her daughter is unable to eat solid foods as a result of the attack, fearing for her long-term health. She and her daughter said they fear the attacker, who remains at-large nearly three months after the attack, will not be caught.
“It’s two months down the line and she cannot eat, and it keeps getting worse and worse and she lost like 30-something pounds,” Mohammed told CBS. “She has to suffer like this and this person is looking at her laughing that I did this to you and they didn’t catch me yet. That’s ridiculous.”