U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran condemned the acid attack that left a 21-year-old Hofstra student fighting for her life last month.
Nafiah Ikram, a 21-year-old Pakistani Hofstra student and a graduate of the Sewanhaka Central High School District, was the victim of the attack on the night of March 17 outside her Elmont home.
She and her mother parked their car outside their Arlington Avenue home 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.
“The horrific acid attack on Nafiah Ikram in Elmont is under active investigation by our Police Department,” Curran said Thursday. “What happened to Nafiah is unacceptable, and we are committed to getting to the bottom of it.”
When the acid was thrown in Ikram’s face, it caused her to scream and acid then got into her mouth. Her tongue and throat were burned as a result, according to a GoFundMe campaign that’s raised more than $510,000 for Ikram and her family.
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.
“It’s still very cloudy and hazy. I can’t read out of my eye. I can’t, like if I close my eye, I can see there’s a light there, I can see what you’re wearing but I can’t see you,” Ikram said in an interview with ABC News. “I can see my hand but I can’t tell how many numbers there are.”
Efforts to reach Ikram or a family member for further comment were unavailing.
“We’re shocked by this horrific attack, and our thoughts are with Nafiah, her family and friends as she focuses on her recovery,” a statement from Hofstra University said. “We are committed to supporting her through that process and will cooperate with any investigation into the matter.”
In a Wednesday Twitter post, Rice called on the New York State Hate Crimes Task Force to help the Nassau County Police Department investigate “the vicious attack” on Ikram that occurred in her district.
I am calling on the NYS Hate Crimes Task Force to assist the @NassauCountyPD investigation into the vicious attack on Nafiah Fatima, an Asian-American and Muslim college student in my district.
— Kathleen Rice (@RepKathleenRice) April 21, 2021
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder told ABC News that there is not enough evidence to determine if the attack against Ikram was a hate crime. Police said the reward for information on the attacker, who remains unidentified, has increased to $20,000.
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.
The GoFundMe page was started on April 17, a month after the attack. Within a week, more than 11,000 people had donated, resulting in more than $450,000 being raised to cover Fatima’s medical expenses.
“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,” Shazia Anjum, the fundraiser’s organizer, said on the page last week. “All we continue to ask is that you keep Nafiah in your prayers and share with as many people as possible!!!”
Ikram has expressed her gratitude for the support she has received through social media posts that have circulated throughout the Hofstra community and Long Island.